It’s 1:00 PM: Do you know where your NBC is?
FishbowlDC kicked off a firestorm of speculation yesterday regarding massive cuts at NBC. A press conference is being held at NBC today to separate the fact from fiction, but here’s what we, and you, need to know:
- NBC Universal Press Release: NBC Universal, a leading global content company, today announced “NBCU 2.0,” a wide-ranging strategic initiative to assure future growth, streamline and strengthen operations, and exploit opportunities created by the rapidly evolving digital and global marketplace. The announcement was made by Bob Wright, Vice Chairman of GE and Chairman and CEO, NBC Universal. “Success in this business means quickly adjusting to and anticipating change. This initiative is designed to help us exploit technology and focus our resources, as we continue our transformation into a digital media company for the 21st century,” said Wright. The company-wide initiative is expected to reduce the company’s annual administrative and operating expenses by $750 million by the end of 2008. It will also result in workforce reduction of approximately 700 positions, about 5 percent, over the same time period.
- NYT: The NBC television network is planning a series of cost-cutting measures that include some layoffs and the relocation of MSNBC, its all-news cable channel, from its home in Secaucus, N.J.
- Hollywood Reporter: The NBC News operation is said to be eyed for significant reductions as NBC Uni moves toward centralizing newsgathering and production operations throughout the company. MSNBC operations in Secaucus, N.J., will be moved to NBC News’ headquarters at 30 Rockefeller Center in Manhattan, sources said. Some of MSNBC’s technical operations could be moved to CNBC’s headquarters, which is about 15 miles north of Secaucus in Englewood Cliffs, N.J.
- Wall Street Journal: 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,” [Jeff] 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.
- TVWeek: NBC News president Steve Capus said some job cuts will take place this year and the majority will probably occur in 2007. … While details remain fluid, plans include turning the third and fourth floors at 30 Rock into a two-story, trading-floor sort of hub for NBC News … The control room for NBC Nightly News will move across the street from 30 Rock into the space that houses the Today morning show.
- Radar: NBC News plans to fire 220 staffers.
- TVNewser: CNBC not being absorbed by NBC News, as had been reported.
- Tipsters: Tell FishbowlNY that the transition of MSNBC under Dan Abrams has taken “longer than expected.” Drop your reactions in the tip box or e-mail FishbowlNY AT mediabistro DOT com.