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Tonight Show Reportedly Lays Off 20 Staffers, Leno Takes Pay Cut

NBC insiders reportedly told Deadline Hollywood that The Tonight Show is going through ”downsizing” and that on Friday 20 of the show’s staffers lost their jobs, and host Jay Leno took a pay cut in order to save jobs.

Reporter Nikki Finke wrote that insiders told her as many as 25 staffers were laid off, and “producers were forced to take pay cuts or lose their jobs.” Her sources also claimed that Leno took a “tremendous” pay cut in order to “save as many people’s jobs as he could.”

The reported cuts come despite Leno’s Tonight Show consistently ranking as the number-one late night talk show in both household viewership and the demo. ”It’s hard to go through those kinds of cuts,” the insider told Finke. “It’s more a network issue than a late-night issue. And I would say that Jay doesn’t get credit for digging out of a gigantic hole every single night. He’s a very valuable guy to NBC and someday everyone will understand that. He does a great job.”

Leno’s current salary is reportedly between $27M-$30 million a year. Finke’s sources had no word exactly how much of that he took away in a pay cut.

Full report here.

[h/t Deadline]

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