ALBANY – Stephen Colbert is one funny guy.
But is he worth at least $16 million in state tax breaks and cash to keep his “Late Show” in Manhattan when he takes over for David Letterman?
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, who announced the final deal Wednesday with CBS President Leslie Moonves, thinks so.
Cuomo said the agreement he cut with CBS keeps the comedy show in Manhattan, “where it belongs.”
The state has agreed to pay “at least” $11 million in tax breaks over the next five years.
The $11 million in minimum tax breaks for CBS is the projection the state is making based on current job projections by the television shows. If more jobs than presently projected are created then CBS will be eligible for an unknown level of additional tax breaks.
The state’s economic development agency will also be giving a $5 million cash grant to help CBS pay for renovations of the Ed Sullivan Theater where the show is taped.
CBS has agreed to have 200 New York-based jobs for the show. It was not immediately clear how many jobs Letterman’s show already has in New York.
Colbert will be taking over for Letterman sometime during 2015.
“We’re excited to be here in late night for many years to come,” Moonves said in announcing the deal with Cuomo.
Republican Rob Astorino’s campaign was quick on social media to note a New York Daily News report that CBS and its affiliates donated $45,000 to Cuomo’s re-election campaign during the past six months.
The agreement signed by CBS and New York state to keep the show in Manhattan was not immediately available.