Published September 10, 2012
Jay Leno definitely isn't joking — at least not when it comes to his salary.
The late-night host said that, in order to save the jobs of some of his staff members, he had taken a 50 percent pay cut as part of NBC's budget-slashing efforts last month, and the network has now confirmed Leno's claim.
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, NBC entertainment chief Robert Greenblatt said the budget cuts were an effort to balance out money that was spent when Leno's show was briefly moved to prime time in 2009. It was later reinstated at 11:35 p.m. with the increased budget still in place.
"All we did was bring it back down to pre-prime time levels," Greenblatt told the Journal.
After the decrease, Leno's salary is about $15 million, the paper reports. As part of the negotiation, Leno's contract was also extended for two years, until May 2014.
As part of the budget cuts, NBC laid off 20 workers from the Tonight Show staff and reduced the show's $100 million annual budget by about 20 percent, Greenblatt said.