Though he recently criticized NBC and its parent company Comcast's decision to reduce his late-night show's budget, Jay Leno has no intention to leave the network. In fact, the host of "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" has extended his deal with the Peacock for two more years to May 2014.
To Wall Street Journal, NBC's entertainment chief Robert Greenblatt confirmed that Leno agreed to take a 50% pay cut as part of the reduced budget. The 62-year-old comedian now receives around $15 million per year, slashing the show's $100 million annual budget by about 20%.
Greenblatt explained the budget cuts were aimed at "reversing tens of millions of dollars in budget increases implemented" when Leno's show was briefly moved to primetime in 2009. When the show returned to 11.35 P.M., the larger budget remained.
"All we did was bring it back down to pre-prime-time levels," so he said. On how Leno reacted when he was informed about the budget cut, Greenblatt shared, "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."
Supporting Greenblatt's statement that the reduced budget wouldn't change the show's quality, Leno said in an email, "We are just going to work harder and more efficiently." He added, "Our job is to be sure that none of this shows up on screen."
Back in August, it was reported that the talk show's budget was reduced from $2.3 million to $1.7 million weekly, affecting around ten percent of the 200 staffers. Leno agreed to take pay cut to save the employees' jobs.