In the Wake of a Reorg, NBCU Lays Off Ad Sales Staff

Conglomerate will cut staff by 3.5 percent

Just three weeks after reorganizing its ad sales staff under five direct reports to Linda Yaccarino, NBCUniversal has begun laying off staffers. At the time of the original announcement, NBCU said in no uncertain terms that no one in the sales organization would be leaving the company; that said, a source chose to characterize today’s layoffs as “unforeseen.”

Variety broke news of the cuts earlier today; as a direct result of a number of redundancies created by the reorg, about 3.5 percent of the conglomerate’s staff will be let go.

Adweek this afternoon was able to independently confirm news of the layoffs, which come on the heels of a similar round of cuts at NBC Digital

It’s been a season of change at NBCU; the company last month realigned its ad sales groups by programming type, rather than by network, a strategy that had served the organization well during the upfront. While there have been a handful of high-profile departures at other units, the senior sales staff—Dan Lovinger, Lauren Mollen, Alison Tarrant, Seth Winter and Scott Schiller—will all remain in place as the organization shifts into its new alignment.

As head of integrated advertising, Tarrant’s role arguably will be the most important in the run-up to the 2014-15 upfront. As one of the few DVR-proof executions available to TV nets, product placement has become an increasingly common element within NBCU’s unscripted series.