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NBCU To Cut $500 Million From Budget

NBCLogo_10.17.pngDespite propping up GE’s third quarter results, some feathers are being plucked from the NBC peacock. NBCU is getting out in front of what could turn out to be bleak 2009 by cutting up to $500 million from the budget. TVNewser has obtained an internal memo from NBCU CEO Jeff Zucker sent to employees this afternoon.

…all of our business leaders are being asked to cut their spending projections for 2009. We are asking for a reduction of approximately $500 million across the company, which represents about 3% of our overall budget. While each business leader has flexibility in how to meet this goal, we have asked them to focus on three areas: reductions in promotion expenses; in discretionary spending, such as travel and entertainment and outside consultants; and in staffing costs.

“Staffing costs.” Keep your eye on that phrase. The full memo, after the jump…


Note to all employees from Jeff Zucker.

We are living in a time of unprecedented economic challenges, and it is increasingly clear that the worldwide economic slowdown will continue well into next year. As we have been working on our budgets and planning for 2009, it has become evident that the decline in consumer confidence and spending will impact our operations.

The leadership team of the company agrees that we must take steps now to prepare for these new economic realities. As a result, all of our business leaders are being asked to cut their spending projections for 2009. We are asking for a reduction of approximately $500 million across the company, which represents about 3% of our overall budget. While each business leader has flexibility in how to meet this goal, we have asked them to focus on three areas: reductions in promotion expenses; in discretionary spending, such as travel and entertainment and outside consultants; and in staffing costs. We have also asked them to find savings by going through our Sourcing department for all major purchases.

This kind of message is never easy, but it is the right step to make, and the right time to make it. We have no choice but to respond quickly to the external economic forces that are affecting the entire world economy. We have an incredible portfolio of strong, dynamic, world-class brands across the global media landscape. We are as well positioned as any media company today; these moves will ensure that we continue to be so. Thank you for your support.

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