Jay Leno did not take a 10-percent cut in pay last month from around $33 million to $30 million as was widely reported. According to today's (Friday) Wall Street Journal , he took a 50 percent cut in pay to $15 million, a figure confirmed by NBC. At the same time, Leno, who has no agent and negotiates his deals with the network personally, was able to secure a two-year extension of his contract. NBC also told the Journal that the reduction in Leno's compensation and the layoff of 20 staff members would result in a 20-percent reduction of the show's $100-million annual budget. As was previously reported, the reductions will bring the show's budget back to about what it was before Leno and staff unsuccessfully attempted to move into primetime in 2009. The newspaper noted that not only have the ratings of the show been declining, but so, too has advertising, falling to $159 million last year from $255 million in 2007. In an interview with the Journal , NBC Entertainment chief Robert Greenblatt indicated that he encountered little resistance from Leno when he informed him of the necessity for the cuts. "I went to his office and we sat down and I said, 'We have to be smart about how we do this show. We are in a difficult place at the network'...He understood." Leno commented, "We are just going to work harder and more efficiently. ... Our job is to be sure that none of this shows up on screen."

07/09/2012