As the recession trudges on, Hollywood has continued to trim the fat in order to stay afloat. The Tonight Show and its host Jay Leno has become the latest to experience the budget slashing that seems to be so widespread these days.
According to Deadline Hollywood, Leno is taking a significant reduction in pay to prevent more firings after roughly two dozen staffers are being let go as part of a major budget cut at the late-night talk show.
The Tonight Show has been the top-rated late-night program for many years, but has only managed to break-even, according to a source familiar with the show’s finances.
The budget for the Tonight show has not changed since NBC moved the show to prime time during the 2009-2010 season, which proved to be a bad idea.
Leno’s current salary is reportedly between $25 million and $30 million and the host volunteered to have his pay reduced to around $20 million if it would save jobs. A person close to the network said that between 20 and 25 people were let go and many senior staffers also agreed to pay cuts.
Leno and his Tonight Show are not the first in late-night TV to see major budget cuts. In 2009, CBS restructured their contract with David Letterman by reducing his salary and the budget for the show.
source: Deadline Hollywood