The Los Angeles Times are reporting Tonight Show host Jay Leno is taking a significant pay cut despite the show leading the late night rating war. The significant reduction in pay comes along with nearly two dozen staffers being let go to help the show reign in its budget.
The show sits a top the ratings landscape but because of how costly it is to run the show sits at a break-even point on the fiances, according to the Times.
Leno is currently making between $25 million and $30 million a year. Reports are saying he volunteered to take a cut down to around $20 million if it would save more jobs.
“Jay’s foremost concern is for the wonderful people who work for ‘The Tonight Show,'” Bruce Bobbins, one of Leno’s spokesmen, said in a statement. “He did what was necessary to ensure their well-being.”
The show’s budget sat at about $2.3 million a week when Leno returned to the Tonight Show after Conan O’Brien’s departure. With the staff cuts and pay cuts to Leno and other senior staff members the budget is expected to sit around $1.7 million a week.