700 Layoffs at NBC Universal


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October 19, 2006

NEW YORK - About 5 percent of NBC Universal’s workforce—some 700 people—will be let go by the end of 2008 as part of a company-wide restructure announced today called NBCU 2.0.

NBC Universal said today that the move is intended to maximize “the potential of the entire NBC Universal portfolio,” including broadcast, cable, film and theme parks, “by creating operating efficiencies and reallocating resources to invest in new growth areas.” The restructure is expected to reduce the company’s expenses by $750 million. Some of those savings will be reinvested in the company’s digital efforts as well as for its international expansion plans.

In making the announcement, Bob Wright, the vice chairman of GE and chairman and CEO of NBC Universal, noted, "Success in this business means quickly adjusting to and anticipating change. This initiative is designed to help us exploit technology and focus our resources, as we continue our transformation into a digital media company for the 21st century.”

Jeff Zucker, the CEO of the NBC Universal Television Group, added, "NBC Universal 2.0 will prepare us for future growth from a position of strength. With new momentum in prime time at NBC, continued leadership from NBC News, real growth at Telemundo, and solid performances in virtually every other division of our Television Group, there is no better time to re-engineer the company for the revolutionary changes to come. We have to recognize that the changes of the next five years will dwarf the changes of the last fifty."

At NBCU Television Group, newsgathering operations will be modernized, and MSNBC will move its operations to the company's production facilities at 30 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, and Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey. NBC Universal is also creating consolidated news facilities in Burbank to serve the news and information operations for NBC and Telemundo networks, KNBC, KVEA, KWHY. Reviews are also under way at NBC News bureaus and facilities around the world.

On the entertainment side, NBC Universal is looking to reduce its dependence on traditional content distribution methods and advertising models. This includes bringing content to consumers sooner on a variety of platforms, creating new windows or opportunities in the traditional syndication market, and developing alternative advertising models. The Hispanic market will continue to be a key focus for the company.

At Universal Studios, positions will be consolidated in the domestic theatrical, home entertainment and television marketing and distribution divisions. Further, locations, support functions and marketing activities will be consolidated at Universal Pictures International, Universal Pictures International Entertainment and NBC Universal International Television Distribution.



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