"The Tonight Show" Laid Off 20 People, and Jay Leno Took a Pay Cut
Is the ghost of CONAN O'BRIEN haunting NBC? "The Tonight Show" just went through a massive "downsizing." They fired 20 employees, and some sources say it might have been more. JAY LENO agreed to a, "tremendous pay cut, to save as many people's jobs as he could."
His rep says, "Jay's foremost concern is for the wonderful people who work for 'The Tonight Show'. He did what was necessary to ensure their well-being."
Jay definitely isn't hurting though. Supposedly, he made around $30 million a year before the cut, plus another $15-to-$20 million a year from "other gigs." A "source" tells the "Los Angeles Times" that his new salary is around $20 million.
There's no official explanation for the downsizing, but it probably has to do with ratings. The "Tonight Show" is still a top-rated late-night show, but it's been on the decline ever since he reclaimed the show from Conan in 2010.
Also, the show isn't big with younger viewers in the coveted 18-to-49-year-old demographic. "Jimmy Kimmel Live!", "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" and "The Colbert Report" have beaten "The Tonight Show" in that category.