NBC Universal Said to Cut About 450 Jobs Across Its Units

Comcast Corp. (CMCSA)’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 percent 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 industrywide advertising slowdown. Third-quarter ad sales at NBC cable channels including USA rose less than 1 percent from a year earlier, after growth of about 5 percent in the first half, according to Bloomberg Industries research.

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. Universal Pictures’ home-video department and a sound-mixing operation also are being targeted.

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 on 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.

‘Today’ Show

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 vice president, may be named to oversee the program’s entire four hours, the newspaper reported.

Wallace and another producer are likely to be named to succeed Jim Bell, who has led the show since 2005, the New York Times reported. He will head Olympics programming at NBC Sports.

Comcast, based in Philadelphia, fell 0.2 percent to $36.11 at the close in New York. The stock has gained 52 percent this year, to lead the 16-member S&P 500 Media Index.

To contact the reporter on this story: Andy Fixmer in Los Angeles at afixmer@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Palazzo at apalazzo@bloomberg.net

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