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Taxpayers helped fund 'Tonight Show' broadcast in Minnesota

Minnesota Public Radio News obtained information via public records request that shows the state paid the show $267,000 through a rebate program.

Posted: Jul 11, 2019 2:37 PM

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota taxpayers helped foot the bill when Jimmy Fallon broadcast "The Tonight Show" from Minneapolis as part of last year's Super Bowl festivities.

Minnesota Public Radio News obtained information via public records request that shows the state paid the show $267,000 through a rebate program.

The state's Snowbate program is aimed at luring productions and fostering local industry talent. Talk shows are ineligible to participate in the program. But the show, which airs on NBC, was reclassified as a "variety show" to fit the confines of state law.

The records show that Michael Tabor, who's a member of the program's advisory committee, said giving away state funds to Fallon's show "isn't responsible." He says NBC was set to be in Minnesota anyway because it was shooting the Super Bowl.

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