NBC Universal Makes $750M Cut In Staff, Shows, News Budget - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

10/19/06-New York

NBC Universal Makes $750M Cut In Staff, Shows, News Budget

NBC Universal plans to cut US$750 million in operating expenses by the end of 2007 by eliminating employees, cutting back on scripted shows, and slashing its news budget, according to a report Thursday in the Wall Street Journal.

The moves come as more and more viewers and advertisers gravitate toward new media, NBC Universal chairman Bob Wright told the newspaper. He said the moves would restore the company to double-digit growth next year.

"As we reprioritize ourselves toward digital, we've got to be as efficient in our current businesses as possible," said Wright, who was expected to make an official announcement Friday.

The measures will also affect movie production and other operations at NBC Universal, which is owned by General Electric Co. (NYSE:GE)

Much of the money will be saved by slashing five per cent of the company's global employees, or about 700 jobs.

The expected savings follow three lacklustre years at NBC Universal, where operating profit fell 10 per cent in each of the past three quarters. The slumping results cut into GE earnings.

NBC Universal said it will stop scheduling high-priced dramas and comedies during the 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. slot.

Jeff Zucker, chief executive of NBC Universal's television group, said he'll focus on cheaper programming.

Zucker told the newspaper that scripted shows cost too much given the lack of advertiser interest.

NBC's cost-saving plan involves laying off people from the company's 11 news divisions, including on-air talent.


Source: AP


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