Jay Leno takes pay cut to save jobs

by Stephanie Zillman24 Aug 2012

It’s not often that one of the top dogs will step in and wear the cost of a restructure – and it’s perhaps a lesson Aussie CEOs might take to heart – but that’s exactly what veteran host Jay Leno did for staff at NBC’s The Tonight Show.

Leno opted to take a pay cut of between $US5 and $US10m ($4.8 and $9.6m AUD) to help save jobs on The Tonight Show, according to media reports.

As many as 25 staff were heading for redundancy, following plans of a major restructure of the NBC program. Curiously, the program is only managing to break even financially despite its rating topping the late-night time slot on US television, the Los Angeles Times reported.

“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,” Leno’s spokesman said in a statement, adding that other senior staff also agreed to pay cuts.

The host is estimated to pocket between $US25 and $US30m a year, but with this salary-cut is likely to drop to around $US20m,

The Tonight Show costs about $US2.3m to make each week. The new budget is expected to see the show produced at about $US1.7m each week, the newspaper said.


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