Comcast Corp. (CMCSA:US)’s NBC Universal eliminated about 20 positions from “The Tonight Show” and host Jay Leno took a salary cut, a person familiar with the moves said.
Leno, who receives about $25 million to $30 million a year, agreed to accept about $20 million, according to the person, who wasn’t authorized to speak publicly. The Los Angeles Times and IMDB.com, a movie and entertainment website, reported the staff cuts and Leno’s pay package earlier.
Dick Guttman, a publicist for Leno, didn’t respond to a voicemail left by Bloomberg News seeking comment. Leno’s agent, Steve Levine, also didn’t immediately reply to a voicemail and e-mail.
The move comes 19 months after Philadelphia-based Comcast, the largest U.S. cable operator, acquired control of NBC Universal from General Electric Co. GE, based in Fairfield, Connecticut, moved Leno to 10 p.m. three years ago in a failed attempt to move the late-night talk-show host into prime time.
Other staff members also agreed to pay cuts as well, the Times reported.
The newspaper said the show’s weekly budget will be about $1.7 million after the cost cuts, down from about $2.3 million now.
Shares of Comcast fell less than 1 percent to $34.02 on Aug. 17 in Nasdaq trading. The stock is up 43 percent year to date.
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