Jay Leno Volunteers For 50 Percent Pay Cut As NBC Slashes 'Tonight Show' BudgetSep-11-2012
New details of NBC's "The Tonight Show" budget cuts from August reveal that late-night host Jay Leno agreed to a 50 percent pay cut, single-handedly slimming the show's overall budget by 20 percent, theWall Street Journal reports.
NBC's new budget for the show amounts to $80 million, down from $100 million. After the cut, Leno's new salary will account for $15 million of the overall total. The talk show king also extended his contract with the network through 2014.
In August, the Los Angeles Times reported Leno volunteered to the salary cut if it could save the jobs of some of the show's 200 odd staffers. Even with the gesture,close to 20 workers were laid off, Deadline.com reported.
"Jay's foremost concern is for the wonderful people who work for 'The Tonight Show,'" Bruce Bobbins, one of Leno's spokesmen, said in a statement. "He did what was necessary to ensure their well-being."
The mid-August restructuring effort by the Peacock Network reflected "The Tonight Show's" less-than-stellar ratings. While the segment is still technically atop the late night heap, it's only breaking even financially.
Leno ripped into the network and its parent company Comcast in a monologue delivered soon after news of the budget cuts became public.
"Welcome to The Tonight Show, or as Comcast calls us, The Expendables," Leno joked. "As you may have heard, our parent company has downsized The Tonight Show. ... We've consistently been number one in the ratings, and if you know anything about our network, that kind of thing is frowned upon."
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Posted by Ken at 1:43 AM
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