It’s easy to scapegoat Comcast for the budget cuts NBC made at “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno” last week, and indeed there has already been speculation that this is part of the new owner’s grand plan to slice and dice its way to big bucks.
It’s a convenient explanation and an old story: A tightfisted new owner starts making cuts with little regard to what the impact will be on the product on screen.
The only problem is that in this case, it isn’t correct.
Officially, NBC is keeping quiet about what motivated the decision to lay off almost two-dozen staffers, leading Leno himself to take a big reduction in pay. Unofficially, people close to the show say the cuts were enacted because Leno was still producing his late-night show with the budget he was given two years ago for his ill-fated move into prime time.
-- Joe Flint, Los Angeles Times