Despite a “Tremendous” Pay Cut for Jay Leno, 20+ ‘Tonight Show’ Employees Lost Their Jobs

Right when The Tonight Show’s opening theme kicked in Friday night, at 11:30pm, reports started coming out about firings. Somewhere around 20-25 staffers were let go of their jobs. Leno is reported to have taken a “tremendous” pay cut to “save as many people’s jobs as he could.” Leno salary is about $27-30 million, so “tremendous” is all relative. The reason for these cuts seems to be “more a network issue than a late-night issue.” The Tonight Show is still the top-rated late night program, which is doubly impressive when you consider it has a MUCH worse lead-in than Letterman and Kimmel. Comcast, however, as the relatively new boss, is in the business of examining all costs. As someone close to the situation told Deadline: “I don’t think ad sales are off. I just think the people who bought this company, Comcast, want to go through everything at NBC and get their money back.” Classic Kabletown.

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