Tonight Show cuts about two dozen staff members, Jay Leno takes large pay cut to save jobs

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The Tonight Show has laid off about two dozen workers and host Jay Leno has taken a large pay cut to save the jobs of other members of his staff, according to reports in the Wall Street Journal and the Los Angeles Times.

The moves are part of a restructuring to save money at NBC. NBC Universal imposed the cutbacks Friday. Both newspapers cited an unnamed person familiar with what happened.

The layoffs and Leno's salary concessions were first reported by Deadline Hollywood, a website that tracks the entertainment industry.

NBC Universal declined comment.

The network has been losing money, increasing the pressure to cut expenses under corporate parent Comcast. Still, The Tonight Show remains the #1 late night talk show in number of households who watch and demographics, according to Deadline.

A spokesman for Leno says the late-night show host did what he thought was necessary to protect his staff.

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