Over 20 'Tonight Show' Employees Were Laid Off, Jay Leno Took A Pay Cut

Our feelings about Tonight Show host Jay Leno, he of the big chin and little desire to do any better than 15 more years of “Jaywalking” segments, are well documented, but even we’ll admit this blows. Says Deadline:

NBC insiders tell me The Tonight Show went through ”downsizing” today and that 20 staffers lost their jobs. Others tell me the number is more like 25, and producers were forced to take pay cuts or lose their jobs. I’ve also learned that Jay Leno took what is being described as a “tremendous” pay cut to “save as many people’s jobs as he could.” (Via)

According to the Washington Post, the “tremendous pay cut” will bring his salary from $25-30 million per year to somewhere closer to $20 million, so don’t worry, he can still afford car #873,943.

The Post article also says:

Although The Tonight Show remains the top-rated late-night program, from a financial standpoint it is only break-even, according to a person familiar with the economics of the show. One reason for that is that the production budget of the show was not reduced when Leno moved back to late night after his ill-fated stint in prime time during the 2009-10 television season. (Via)

Over two years later, and that show is still screwing people over. It’s like the Bernie Madoff of TV mishaps, which is a totally topical joke that Leno will get to in about seven months.