LOS ANGELES (Reuters) — “Tonight Show” host Jay Leno is taking a significant reduction in pay and roughly two dozen staffers are being let go as part of a major budget restructuring at the late-night talk show.
Although “The Tonight Show” remains the top-rated late-night program, from a financial standpoint it is only break-even, according to a person familiar with the economics of the show. One reason is that the production budget of the show was not reduced when Leno moved back to late night after his ill-fated stint in prime time during the 2009-10 television season.
Leno's current salary is between $25 million and $30 million and he volunteered to take a cut if it would save some jobs. A person close to the network thought Leno's new salary is likely around $20 million. Bruce Bobbins, one of Leno's spokesmen, declined to comment.
In a statement later Bobbins said, “Jay's foremost concern is for the wonderful people who work for 'The Tonight Show.' He did what was necessary to ensure their well-being.”
The weekly budget for Leno's prime time show was approximately $2.3 million and it stayed there when he returned to late night and Conan O'Brien was sent packing. The budget now will be closer to $1.7 million, which is in the range of what it was during Leno's previous late-night stint.
Judd cancels concerts after husband's accident
NEW YORK (Reuters) — American country singer Wynonna Judd has canceled a series of concerts in Canada next week following a serious motorcycle crash that injured her husband, the singer said in a statement on Sunday.
Judd's husband, Michael Scott Moser, and the singer had been on a ride together on separate motorcycles in Deadwood, S.D., when Moser collided with an oncoming vehicle and was taken to a hospital. Judd was not involved in the accident.
“I love him deeply and I will not leave his side,” said Judd, who rose to fame alongside her mother Naomi in the 1980s as part of the duo, The Judds, before a successful solo career that began in the early 1990s.
She and Moser were married in June in Tennessee.