Leno Ponies Up to Pay Staffers

Criticized comic finally joins colleagues to help workers
By Colleen Barry,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 3, 2007 7:03 AM CST
In this photo released by DIY Network, comedian Jay Leno poses behind the wheel of his 1930 Model J Le Baron Duesenberg, Thursday, Oct. 26, 2006. The classic car collector announced he'll be paying his...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Talk-show host Jay Leno stepped up to the plate this weekend, saying he will use his own money to pay, for at least this week, the 80 non-writing employees of "The Tonight Show"  who were laid off by NBC Friday. Staffers blasted Leno when they were pink-slipped for assuring them earlier that their jobs were safe despite the writers' strike. Other late-night hosts had already agreed to pay workers out-of-pocket before layoffs were announced.

David Letterman, whose company  produces "The Late Show With David Letterman" and "The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson," has committed to paying both staffs through the end of the year. Conan O'Brien has said he will  on a week-to-week basis.