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The Tonight Show Cuts 20 Staffers

Nikki Finke of Deadline Hollywood reported late Friday The Tonight Show lost at least 20 employees while host Jay Leno took a major paycut to save as many jobs as possible as part of a “downsizing.”

According to Deadline’s NBC insider, the layoffs have to do more with Comcast than the ratings:

“I don’t think ad sales are off. I just think the people who bought this company, Comcast, wants to go through everything at NBC and get their money back,” an NBC insider tells me. ”It’s hard to go through those kinds of cuts. It’s more a network issue than a late-night issue. And I would say that Jay doesn’t get credit for digging out of a gigantic hole every single night. He’s a very valuable guy to NBC and someday everyone will understand that. He does a great job.”

Joe Flint of the Los Angeles Times reported that Leno’s salary went from $25-30 million to likely around $20 million.

In addition, the weekly show budget will be reduced from approximately $2.3 million to $1.7 million.

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