NBC Universal Said to Cut About 450 Jobs Across Units

Third-Quarter Ad Sales at Cable Networks Grew 1%

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Comcast's NBC Universal is cutting about 450 jobs at several divisions of the broadcast, film and cable company, according to two people with knowledge of the situation.

The reductions, some of which have taken place already, amount to about 1.5% of NBC Universal's 30,000 employees, according to the people, who weren't authorized to discuss the matter publicly. Most of the cuts are in California.

NBC is eliminating jobs as cable and broadcast networks experience an industry-wide advertising slowdown. Third-quarter ad sales at NBC cable channels including USA rose less than 1% from a year earlier, after growth of about 5% in the first half, according to Bloomberg Industries research.

Comcast said last month that third-quarter revenue at NBC Universal as a whole rose 31% to $6.8 billion, buoyed in particular by the London Olympics, and grew 8% excluding the games.

Some of the layoffs will focus on Universal Pictures' home-video department and a sound-mixing operation.

At G4, the cable channel targeting young male viewers, two programs including "Attack of the Show" were canceled, accounting for some of the firings, one of the people said. G4 may be headed for a rebranding early next year that could include a new name, Variety reported in September.

Some of the cuts have been filed with the state of California under regulations requiring notice of reductions. A total of 360, including 80 in September, were listed in a state announcement Nov. 7. The balance of those in the state are scheduled by Dec. 31, according to the announcement. The website Deadline Hollywood reported yesterday on NBC's action.

NBC Universal, majority owned by Comcast Corp., operates some of the most-watched U.S. cable TV channels, in addition to its flagship broadcast network, a film studio and the Universal Studios amusement parks.

Separately, NBC is planning leadership changes at the "Today" show, The New York Times reported, citing people at the network it didn't name. Alexandra Wallace, an NBC News senior VP, may be named to oversee the program's entire four hours, the newspaper reported.

~Bloomberg News~

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