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Conan O'Brien paying staffers out-of-pocket

The ”Late Night” host will pay some 75 non-writing production staffers for the foreseeable future

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Eugene Gologursky/WireImage.com

Late Night host Conan O’Brien will pay the salaries of some 75 of his show’s non-writing production staffers from out of his own pocket, according to an NBC rep. The late-night host will pick up the tabs starting next week and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. NBC had only guaranteed its late-night crews’ salaries through the end of November. O’Brien’s move stands in contrast to the decision by fellow NBC late-nighter Carson Daly, who this week crossed the picket line to shoot new episodes of Last Call, which will air next week. At CBS, David Letterman’s Worldwide Pants banner, which produces Letterman’s Late Show and The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson, ensured production staffs on those shows that they’d be paid through year’s end, regardless of whether their shows return. Daly’s return to work has drawn considerable ire from the Writers Guild of America, prompting him to release a statement. ”If I didn’t go back to work, roughly 75 staff and crew would have lost their jobs,” Daly said. ”As a non-WGA member, I feel I have supported the Writers Guild of America and the strike by suspending production for a month. While I continue to support the cause, I can’t, in all good conscience, stand by and let that happen to my loyal staff and crew. I sincerely hope the strike will be resolved soon.” (Hollywood Reporter)