NBC have made at least 20 staff redundant at the ‘Tonight Show’ and reduced the costs of the show’s weekly budget.
According to Deadline, Jay Leno also took a very big pay cut in order to help save other people’s jobs working on the show. ‘The Tonight Show’ is the highest rated late night talk show and news of the cuts are surprising, as there is no major indication of a significant decline in ratings.
It is currently unclear whether the cuts are part of an overall ‘downsizing strategy’ or that Comcast (which own NBC) want to reduce operating costs of the show to improve profitability. Other theories could include a lack of growth potential in the current market with competition from ‘The Daily Show’ and other late night shows putting a strain on ‘The Tonight Show’ and its core audience.
According to the Huffington Post, Leno made $30 million a year before the recent cuts. No official figures have been released of his new salary.
NBC also just had their most epic season for live programming that broke historical records, thanks to the success of the 2012 Olympics.