NBC Layoffs Well Underway; 500 Across Company; 17 From iVillage

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imageIn October, NBC Universal (NYSE: GE) CEO Jeff Zucker served notice that the company would cut costs by some $500 million, or 3 percent of the overall budget. This week, part of that’s being translated into roughly 500 jobs across the company with most of the notices coming today; some may be pushed into early next week. That translates into 3 percent of the 15,000-person workforce — a coincidence, I’m told, not a target; sources say that there were no specific targets like cutting x amount of jobs in each area but the total overall had to meet Zucker’s public goal of at least $500 million in reduced operating costs for 2009. The company isn’t providing a breakdown by department or domestic-international — or the specific savings from layoffs alone — but some details are emerging and we’ll update as we get more:

— We wrote earlier today about 30 cuts in sales.

— The direct effect on digital was described to me as a very small number. I can confirm that 17 people are being laid off at iVillage in edit, sales and tech; the iVillage Network is part of NBCU Women and Lifestyle Entertainment Networks.

— Sources inside NBC call a published report of 80 being laid off at CNBC “wildly inaccurate.” No specific number yet but 40-50 seems more likely. I can confirm that no on-air jobs will be cut at CNBC.

Update: Universal Pictures is laying off about 70 based on a memo from Marc Shmuger and David Linde posted at Deadline Hollywood. The memo said the reduction was about 3 percent of headcount.

Photo Credit: Mark Heard

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