- (Photo: REUTERS / Jason Reed)
"The Tonight Show" has undergone a spate of firings and even forced host Jay Leno into taking a pay cut to help reduce the number of redundancies being made. According to reports NBC has had to clamp down on its expenses and has fired about a dozen workers.
The cutbacks were made on Friday, according to a source to The Associated Press, despite "The Tonight Show" still being the top rated late night talk show on U.S. television. Despite the cuts to the approximately 200 people working on the show, the program should not be visibly affected at all for viewers.
Leno's $25 million to $30 million annual salary has reportedly been cut to about $20 million, according to Fox News.
Bruce Bobbins, a spokesman for Leno has stated: "Jay's foremost concern is for the wonderful people who work with him at `The Tonight Show'. He did what was necessary to ensure their well-being."
Leno is also not the only one who has taken a pay cut on the show; apparently a number of other highly paid staffers on the show have agreed to taking a cut in order to help reduce redundancies.
It is believed that "The Tonight Show" has a rough budget of about $2.3 million per week. However, following the cuts that figure will be reduced to about $1.7 million, which is about the figure the show's budget was on a few years ago.
Leno first took over from Johnny Carson at "The Tonight Show" in 1992, and held the position as the host until 2009 when he moved to host his own show at an earlier time slot. Conan O'Brien took over as host at that point, but in 2010 a fierce debate erupted between O'Brien and NBC after Jay Leno returned as "The Tonight Show" host. O'Brien moved on to TBS where he now hosts "The Conan O'Brien Show."