On Monday, LA Times TV reporter Scott Collins shared a solid contextual look at the recent Tonight Show layoffs. We caught up with his piece tonight and were plainly amazed that there has not been more media pick-up of paragraph number three:
Leno even offered to work for free to save more jobs, according to people familiar with the matter, who said the offer was rejected because executives believed it would set a bad precedent. These people said Tonight was now barely breaking even.
Got that? Leno was reportedly willing to forego his entire $26 million (or thereabouts) annual salary, which he famously banks while paying the bills with coin earned from stand-up appearances. Despite this staggering offer of charity, the rest of this week’s Leno coverage has been gleefully focused on disparaging Leno slams made by Jimmy Kimmel and Howard Stern.