NBC, now owned by Comcast, has slashed the budget of its flagship late-night show The Tonight Show from $2.3 million to about $1.7 million – back to where it was before Leno’s ill-faded prime time bid. The cuts affect about 25 people – somewhere between five and 10 percent of the staff. Nice guy Leno took a $10 million pay cut to save a significant number of staffers. (Save your tears: Leno is now making a mere $20 million a year.)
The headline for radio here is that it could possibly devalue talent at all levels. Anyone who is still in radio in 2012 knows that compensation for management and programmers alike is a mere fraction of what it used to be. In fact, about the only plans that have held their own have been for salespeople, but even they have seen cuts in expenses and allowances.