Programming

STRIKE COVERAGE: NBC Late-Nighters Won't Be Laid Off at End of Week

Low-Level Staffers at Worldwide Pants to Get Full Compensation, Higher Staffers at Least Part of Checks 11/15/2007 09:41:00 AM Eastern

David LettermanLate-night staffers at NBC will not be laid off at the end of the week and will be paid for at least another two weeks, a network spokesperson confirmed Thursday. The news comes as David Letterman's production company, Worldwide Pants, confirmed Wednesday’s story that the nonwriting staff for the Letterman's and Craig Ferguson's late-night shows on CBS will get paid on a sliding scale at least through the end of the year.

An NBC spokesperson said nonwriting staffers of all three of its late-night shows -- The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Late Night with Conan O'Brien and Last Call with Carson Daly -- will not be laid off at the end of this week, as originally considered.

Meanwhile, a Worldwide Pants spokesperson confirmed that lower-salaried employees of its two late-night shows will be fully paid, while higher-salaried staffers will get at least a percentage of their paychecks.

Next week’s tapings of both CBS shows have already been canceled. Letterman’s decision, though, does not necessarily mean that he is out until the end of the year.

NBC, which owns all three of its shows, informed nonwriting staffers of its late-night shows that paychecks could dry up as soon as the end of this week. The network has considered guest hosts as one way of at least getting The Tonight Show back on the air and keeping the rest of the staff in jobs.

Late-night hosts continue to weigh their options as far as if and when to return to work without writers.

Many expect Letterman at some point to be the first to return to work, followed by other hosts, much like how the industry followed Johnny Carson’s lead during the 1988 strike.

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