NBC Drops 20; Are More Cuts Coming?

NBC’s Brian Williams just won a hard-fought sweeps victory over ABC’s Charlie Gibson, MSNBC is making ratings inroads against CNN, and the Today Show is solidly in first-place. With the exception perhaps of Dateline, NBC News seems in pretty good shape. But its news division is still laying people off.

It’s not clear exactly how extensive the the cuts at are going to be. Earlier reports predicted the Peacock was trying to trim $20 million to $40 million from payroll; we heard from one NBC source who said they were going to try to cut more than $40 million. Now NBC is saying, on the record, that it is trimming a mere 20 employees — about 1% of the total workforce (including MSNBC and CNBC). And that number includes both layoffs and voluntary buyouts.

The layoffs come a year after a bout of NBC 2.0-related layoffs that pared 40 from the news division, including 10 positions from Dateline. In addition, the news division is cutting back freelancers.

“All we are doing – just like every other major media company – is looking at the way we do business, making sure that we are allocating the right resources in the right places, and making amendments where necessary,” an NBC spokesperson said.

NBC is the only network cutting news employees. ABC News, whose Charlie Gibson spent the spring and summer in first place in the ratings, fired 35 employees in June.

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