By Shiryn Ghermezian, EnStarz | Aug 19, 2012 12:47 PM EDT
NBC's late night wonder "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" is taking a major hit, laying off 20 staffers with the talk show host himself receiving a "tremendous" pay cut, according to The Huffington Post.
Reasons for the cuts are still unknown to the public, according to the site, though it is reported that rates for the show have steadily declined recently; the "Late Show with David Letterman" has been conquering the scoreboard in rating numbers.
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The Hollywood Reporter first reported the story on Aug. 17 with a network source confirming the "Tonight Show" cuts. They also stated that viewers of Leno's late night show are now tuning more into "younger-skewing shows," such as "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" and "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart."
According to the source, the "Tonight Show" currently employs between 150 and 200 people.
Deadline reported that Leno himself offered to take a pay cut to "save as many people's jobs as he could."
"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," a spokesperson for the host said in an official statement.
Leno was paid close to $30 million reportedly prior to the pay cut, which has yet to be revealed exactly how much it will entail. In 2010, he once more signed a contract with the network after reclaiming his spot as the "Tonight Show" host from Conan O'Brien, who was the show's host for a brief period before Leno decided to return from his announced retirement.
"It's hard to go through those kinds of cuts...And I would say that Jay doesn't get credit for digging out of a gigantic hole every single night," an NBC insider told Deadline. "He's a very valuable guy to NBC and someday everyone will understand that. "
Only last week, Jay Leno had as guests on his show Olympians Ryan Lochte and Gabby Douglas, along with First Lady Michelle Obama.
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