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NBC/Universal lays off 700 employees

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NBC/Universal lays off 700 employees

Old 10-19-06, 10:44 AM
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NBC/Universal lays off 700 employees

here
NBC Universal makes $750M in cuts by reducing staff, scripted shows, news budget
Oct 19 9:05 AM US/Eastern

NEW YORK (AP) - 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.
Great. Just what we need, more reality BS.

I fear for Battlestar Galactica.
Old 10-19-06, 10:47 AM
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NBC: "the first all-reality broadcast channel".
Old 10-19-06, 10:47 AM
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This all probably makes sense from a company/financial standpoint. But it just means that I watch less TV. Time to check out that "new media" I keep hearing about.
Old 10-19-06, 11:06 AM
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This sucks, since NBC has 2 new shows I watch this year. Guess that may change slowly.
Old 10-19-06, 11:08 AM
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Funny thing, "reality" shows are often partially scripted, and further fictionalization is performed in the editing bay.
Old 10-19-06, 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Chew
NBC: "the first all-game show broadcast channel".
Fixed
Old 10-19-06, 11:40 AM
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Tell the Brit who wrote this to cut out the "lacklustre"
spelling...It's not impressing anyone. Nor does "colour" "organisation"
or "favour".
Old 10-19-06, 11:43 AM
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Boy, this makes the scene in S60 this week all the more relevant. Sorkin was right.
Old 10-19-06, 11:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Pistol Pete
NBC Universal said it will stop scheduling high-priced dramas and comedies during the 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. slot.
That better not affect The Office!
Old 10-19-06, 11:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Pistol Pete
I fear for Battlestar Galactica.
Not to worry. BSG is perhaps Sci-Fi Channel's highest-rated show and given the excellent viewer demographics of that show, it will continue.
Old 10-19-06, 11:57 AM
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Originally Posted by RayChuang
Not to worry. BSG is perhaps Sci-Fi Channel's highest-rated show and given the excellent viewer demographics of that show, it will continue.
Well that may be true, but it's moving to NBC as a mid-season replacement. With the way NBC's new shows are dropping, that might sooner than later.
Old 10-19-06, 11:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Doughboy
That better not affect The Office!
they could move the office back to 9:30 or wherever it was last season
Old 10-19-06, 12:07 PM
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The Office can't cost very much to produce...it's basically a set. I worry about My Name Is Earl, though. Hopefully, we won't see BG tampered with...I would hate to see it go the way of the original -- having to resuse special effects shots over and over again.
Old 10-19-06, 12:08 PM
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Originally Posted by DVD Josh
Well that may be true, but it's moving to NBC as a mid-season replacement.
Was that ever actually confirmed?
Old 10-19-06, 12:10 PM
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Originally Posted by CPA-ESQ.
Tell the Brit who wrote this to cut out the "lacklustre"
spelling...It's not impressing anyone. Nor does "colour" "organisation"
or "favour".
It's from a Canadian newspaper. That's just how they spell. Do you really think they're doing it to "impress" people?
Old 10-19-06, 12:18 PM
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Originally Posted by RayChuang
Not to worry. BSG is perhaps Sci-Fi Channel's highest-rated show and given the excellent viewer demographics of that show, it will continue.
It is also Sci-Fi's most expensive show and may be moved to NBC, where ratings expectations will be much higher.
Old 10-19-06, 12:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Tracer Bullet
Was that ever actually confirmed?
And if so, does that mean we'll be getting first-run HD?
Old 10-19-06, 12:39 PM
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Ausiello from TVGuide said that it was only a rumour, and said that execs from BSG said it would never happen. I wouldn't say never, but it seems unlikely at this point.
Old 10-19-06, 01:00 PM
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Maybe Andy Kaufman's dreams of turning NBC into a 24-hour wrestling channel will finally come to pass, though Kaufman intended to accomplish it through suing the company and subsequently buying it in the aftermath of the Lawler incident on Late Night with David Letterman.
Old 10-19-06, 01:01 PM
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I also read the Battlestar move was only an internet rumor and doesn't appear to be happening.

Which calls for a
Old 10-19-06, 01:18 PM
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NBC: Nothin' But Cheers-reruns
Old 10-19-06, 01:39 PM
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Originally Posted by TallGuyMe
NBC: Nothin' But Cheers-reruns
Works for me.
Old 10-19-06, 01:53 PM
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After reading this, I expect lots more reality shows on NBC. Probably more Biggest Loser installments and maybe Deal or No Deal and 1 vs 100 5 nights a week.

Also come to think of it, NBC is probably paying a shit load of money to the NFL for Football Night in America. They probably want to recoup some of that money.
Old 10-19-06, 02:49 PM
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Originally Posted by bboisvert
This all probably makes sense from a company/financial standpoint. But it just means that I watch less TV. Time to check out that "new media" I keep hearing about.

I see that kind of statement and it just blows my mind that apparently nobody at the network came up with that same line of thinking.

I already only watch The Office, Earl, and Scrubs whenever they begrudginly allow it to air on NBC, how much less can I watch that network?
Old 10-19-06, 04:32 PM
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Pretty soon NBC will be NoBody Cares.

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