New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo gave NBC and CBS tens of millions of dollars’ worth of taxpayer-subsidized incentives in an effort to keep the networks’ flagship late-night shows in New York City, The New York Post reports.
“CBS scored up to $16 million in tax credits and cash to keep ‘The Late Show’ broadcasting from Manhattan after the May 2015 retirement of longtime host David Letterman,” The Post reports. “That included $5 million just to renovate CBS’s Ed Sullivan Theater on Broadway at West 53rd Street.”
The report adds that NBC “landed an even sweeter deal.”
“Following secret talks between the network and his administration, Cuomo quietly inserted a provision into the 2013-2014 budget that let ‘The Tonight Show’ qualify for New York’s generous Film Production Tax Credit program,” The Post reports. “The move paved the way for the show’s relocation from Burbank, Calif., to NBC’s headquarters at 30 Rockefeller Plaza after Jay Leno ended his second stint as host in February 2014.”
The report adds that the tax program covers 30% of “The Tonight Show” production costs, and “amounted to nearly $21 million on about $70 million in qualified spending during the program’s first year, the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle reported last year.”