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.
It’s not too late. Someone, somewhere, please get more details on this remarkable and historic alleged late night talk show moment. Liberal media Leno bias be damned.
Update – 09/07/12: It turns out Leno got a lot closer to that alleged free threshold than previously reported. An NBCUniversal spokesperson has confirmed that the talk show host took a $15 million (50%) annual pay cut. And that he has extended his contract through the fall of 2014.