NBC to cut under 20 news jobs

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NEW YORK - NBC Universal plans to cut fewer than 20 jobs at NBC News and MSNBC to meet year-end restructuring and financial targets in a tough economic climate, a source close to the division said Thursday.

The cuts, expected to begin this week or next, will be in the news-gathering and operations sides of NBC News and MSNBC cable news divisions, the source said. NBC News employs about 2,000 employees.

Cable business news channel CNBC, which is gearing for a fight with News Corp's recently launched Fox Business Network, will not be affected.

"There is an ongoing process at NBC News to reallocate, reorganize and right-size the division given the business pressures that every major media organization is facing," NBC News said in a statement. "This process began some time ago, it continues today, and will continue tomorrow."

Further details were not available from the company.

The source disputed a New York Post report on Thursday that said the General Electric-controlled company planned to make "deep" cuts in the news division to save $20 million to $40 million following poor November ratings in NBC's entertainment division.

Two NBC News sources said the Post report caught employees by surprise, as the size and scope of the cuts have not been determined.

The job cuts will include MSNBC's head of prime-time programming, Bill Wolff, and Editorial Director Davidson Goldin, according to the Post. Wolff was not immediately available, and Goldin declined to comment.
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