NBCUniversal will lay off all 164 staff members of “The Tonight Show” when it moves from Burbank, Calif. to New York in February.
The show is relocating to the east coast as Jimmy Fallon takes over for Jay Leno, who has hosted the show for the past 22 years. Layoffs were expected to be a part of the transition, and it seems that none of the 164 Burbank employees, many of whom have production-based jobs, will be transferred to other positions within company. The cuts were reportedly announced to workers in December, and they will be carried out on a staggered timescale between Feb. 14 and April 4.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Leno noted that he is leaving the show six months earlier than intended, in order to bring Fallon on during the Winter Olympics. Leno says that when NBCUniversal pitched the date change, he was adamant that his employees be paid for those six months, which the network agreed to do.
Many of Leno’s staff members have been with him since he took over for Johnny Carson in 1992. In 2012, Leno took a pay cut in order to preserve jobs when the show was hit with a round of layoffs.
The Burbank Leader, which broke the story, reports that an NBCUniversal spokesperson said that the displaced employees have been encouraged to apply for other jobs at the company, including positions in New York at “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.”
Jay Leno will host his final segment of “The Tonight Show” on Feb. 6.
By April Sperry