WSJ: Most Of “Initial Layoffs” Will Come From NBC News; Not An “Area Of High Growth”

By Brian 

The Wall Street Journal has Bob Wright and Jeff Zucker on the record:

  NBC’s restructuring plan also makes it the first major TV company to say that it sees limited growth potential in the news business. Most of the initial layoffs will come in the company’s 11 news divisions, and they will include on-air talent. Operations for the cable-news channel MSNBC in Secaucus, N.J., will be shuttered and moved to Rockefeller Center in Manhattan and another facility in New Jersey.

‘We will aggressively protect all of our brands,’ Mr. Zucker said, but he added that the company has to acknowledge news isn’t an area of high growth. NBC Universal, which runs the No. 1-rated network news operation, currently spends about $1.5 billion annually on news gathering.

The company said it will abolish redundancies in its news operation that crept in as it made acquisitions such as Telemundo, a Spanish-language broadcaster, and developed MSNBC and the financial-news channel CNBC. For example, it will create a regional “hub” in Los Angeles to serve NBC, MSNBC, CNBC and three local stations in the area. Mr. Zucker said reviews are under way in cities such as Washington, D.C., and London to do the same thing.
 
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