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Posted on January 20, 2010 | tags


Culture: Updated: “Tonight Show” severance: Don’t let the big number fool you

  • Updated: Big money for Conan. Others, not so much. Conan’s reportedly close to a $40 million deal to get out of his contract, but he wants more than the $12 million in severance being offered for his employees (reportedly $600,000 more). Before you think that severance is a ton of money, we just did some math:

How many employees does he have?:

  • 200the number of employees Conan has, roughly source

The way that splits up:

  • $4.5
    the amount that would go to executive producer Jeff Ross
  • $7.5
    the amount that would go to everybody else. Jesus.

How this breaks down for Conan’s people:

  • split Based on the number given by MTV today, that’s exactly $37,500 a piece per employee. Not too huge at all, guys.
  • seniority Our number doesn’t account for salaries of sidekicks like Andy Richter and Max Weinberg, nor seniority.
  • taxes It’s also before the 40% or whatever they take out of severance before they give it to you. It’s kind of a raw deal. source

The silver lining:

  • In the end, Conan was appreciative of the steps NBC made to take care of his staff and crew, and decided to supplement the severance they were getting out of his own pocket. Now he just wants to get back on the air as quickly as possible.
  • Gavin Polone • Conan O’Brien’s manager, regarding the deal NBC reportedly struck with the comedian last night. Conan’s not only a rich man, but apparently he’s a prince, because he’s taking care of his workers when he doesn’t have to! Good show, old red-headed chap! source