When the Tonight Show moves from Burbank to New York City next month as new host Jimmy Fallon takes over, NBCUniversal will lay off all of the show's 164 employees.
A source confirmed to The Wrap that NBCUniversal "notified the California Employment Development Department last month that it will eliminate the positions." The layoffs will begin Feb. 14 and will be staggered through April 4.
According to an NBCUniversal spokesman, "We have encouraged those 164 employees to take a look at jobs throughout the company and apply for them." Nothing like a good "sorry about the job, check out our career website!" to encourage employee morale, especially given that NBC offered Conan O'Brien's staff $12 million in their layoff deal. But in a huge gesture of generosity, the company is "encouraging" canned employees to apply for positions at the new Tonight Show in New York City, a city where they do not live.
The Burbank Leader reports that the layoffs will impact primarily production-based jobs.
If you're one of the unlucky 164 laid off from Tonight Show, we'd love to hear your story: firstname.lastname@example.org.
UPDATE: We're heard from one of the employees who helped clarify the layoffs. While the employees have been given a given a generous severance, the terms of the severance—contrary to NBCUniversal's spokesperson—keep them from applying for jobs at the new show. According to the source, staffers also weren't directed to apply for other jobs in the company:
It's true that we're all getting laid off (well most of us, a few are true NBC employees that will continue on in other departments). It was announced back in September so we all knew it was coming, and everyone is getting paid thru Sept 14 as severance (a very nice gesture).
But nobody encouraged us (or me at least) to visit the career website or anything - and the positions at the New York Tonight show have already been filled - not a single person on our crew has moved to that show (that I'm aware of), since part of our severance deal was that we had to remain with the show here.
[Image via AP]