NBC Universal laying off 500 employees

CNBC's 'Big Idea' going on hiatus

NEW YORK -- Further cuts at NBC News and elsewhere around NBC Universal were carried out Thursday, including layoffs in the Dallas and Burbank bureaus.

There are as many as 500 layoffs being carried out, which totals to about 3% of the work force.

That included as many as 50 cuts at the local media group, 70 on the Universal side of the operations including the film studio but also the parks and distribution; as well as at least 30 at NBC News. There were somewhere under 80 positions cut at CNBC as well as the idling of the primetime show "The Big Idea With Donny Deutsch." At the broadcast network and the cable side, the cuts are said to be minimal.

Among the correspondents who have been let go include Don Teague and Mark Mullen, according to multiple sources. There might be others in the Los Angeles and Burbank bureau.

At CNBC, which is headquartered across the river in suburban New Jersey, there will also be a number of cuts including the hiatus of "The Big Idea." CNBC sources said that with the economic climate the way it is, a show like "The Big Idea" about success isn't the right topic to be discussing. Deutsch will remain with the network to do monthly specials and longform programming like "The Entrepreneur" and "Collaboration" as well as appear periodically on NBC's "Today."

This is part of NBC Uni chief Jeff Zucker's plan to cut $500 million from the company, a proposal that was announced in October. NBC News and other parts of the company had offered buyouts and some had been accepted, although it wasn't enough to cut about 3% of the work force. The 500 include the people with the buyout and early retirement.

The early retirement and buyouts weren't enough to meet the $500 million figure, however. So the cuts were made by the division heads, across the board.

The announcement follows Wednesday's news that 30 people had been laid off in the advertising department at NBC.
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