NBC Confirms Leno Pay Cut
Report: 'Tonight Show' host gave up half his salary to save jobs
Jay Leno agreed to a 50 percent pay cut to save jobs on "The Tonight Show," NBC tells the Wall Street Journal, volunteering $15 million of his former $30 million annual salary.
It's a story leaked by the press last month. But NBC hasn't confirmed it -- nor have any specific numbers been mentioned -- until now.
Leno made the sacrifice, the report says, in response to an NBC mandate to slash his show's $100 million budget by 20 percent. Apparently because it still left a $5 million gap, however, 20 of the show's approximately 220 jobs were eliminated.
An NBC exec claims that the budget cut was necessary to reverse increases made during "The Tonight Show's" brief and ill-fated shift to prime time in 2009, but that the late-night talk show is still profitable. (The WSJ notes, however, that "The Tonight Show's" average Nielsen rating shrank by five percent between last September and this August, a decline similar to that of most other late-night shows.)
Despite the apparent selflessness of his action, Leno has taken it on the chin from critics -- especially "America's Got Talent" judge Howard Stern, who last month on his Sirius Radio show claimed this story was a smokescreen concocted specifically to allow Leno to lay off 20 of his staffers.
"He’s embarrassed to do it," Stern said. "He didn’t want to come off as a bad guy. NBC took the hit for him, because they’re a corporation. My bull---- meter is going off all over the place."
"The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" airs weeknights at 11:35 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.
Geez, he's an odd looking dude. I think he's proof there are space aliens living among us.
That is the biggest bunch of crap I have ever heard. Even if he did he still makes 15 million to be the biggest piece of sh** on T.V. Jay Leno will and always has been a piece of garbage who would and has screwed good people to get what he wants.
Howard Stern was right in everything he said about Jay, I say Fu** Jay and FU** everything that man stands for. I think they should cancel his show and do the american public a huge favor.