NBCUniversal Starts Sound Post Layoffs

By Steve Harvey. NBCUniversal plans to cut as many as 500 employees, including those in the feature sound post department, in a year-end round of belt-tightening.
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By Steve Harvey. 

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Los Angeles, CA (November 13, 2012)—NBCUniversal plans to cut as many as 500 employees, including those in the feature sound post department, in a year-end round of belt-tightening.

According to a report in The Los Angeles Times, "Universal also decided to shutter its feature post sound studio after its staff completes work on current projects. The closure is expected to lead to the loss of another 20 people during the next year, a person familiar with the studio said." According to "knowledgeable people" sourced in the story, "[c]reative executives who work within NBC Entertainment were spared."

The media company, which employs approximately 30,000, is scheduled to layoff about 1.5 percent of its workforce, according to reports in the L.A. Times and The Hollywood Reporter. There have already been some layoffs.

L.A.-based Universal Pictures recently cut 20 jobs, including some in its home entertainment unit, which has been impacted by the general decline in DVD sales.

At G4, which focuses on video games, the cancellation of two long-running signature shows recently led to the dismissal of several dozen staff members.

In September, a representative for NBCUniversal publicly confirmed a report that, but for the host taking a 50 percent pay cut (a reported $15 million), there would have been more staff layoffs at The Tonight Show with Jay Leno than the two dozen who were let go a couple of months ago.

At The Weather Channel, in which NBCU has an interest (along with Bain Capital and Blackstone Group), there has been a seven percent reduction in staff.

The cuts are reportedly the result of a directive from corporate executives to senior management to look at staffing levels as the company begins planning budgets for 2013. Staff cuts are expected at all of NBCU's networks, which include NBC, USA, Bravo, E!, G4, Syfy and the NBC News group, which encompasses CNBC and MSNBC.