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Cable Technology Feature Article

November 13, 2012

Comcast's NBCUniversal Letting Go of 500 Employees, G4 Hit the Hardest

By Rory Lidstone, TMCnet Contributing Writer

According to sources close to the matter, Comcast's (News - Alert) NBCUniversal is laying off about 500 employees, about 1.5 percent of its workforce, in attempt to cut costs. The cuts will be distributed throughout the media company, which employs about 30,000 people, including workers at its cable channels, the Tonight Show with Jay Leno and Universal Pictures.

In fact, some of the layoffs have already taken place as the Tonight Show let about two dozen of its crew go. However, a large percentage of the cuts came from the G4 cable channel, which focuses on video games and gaming culture. Last month, the channel canceled two of its signature shows: "Attack of the Show!" and "X-Play."

Image via Shutterstock

Meanwhile, Universal Pictures cut about 20 jobs last month, including some in its home entertainment unit, which has been experiencing a decrease in revenue due to the winding down of DVD sales throughout the industry. Universal will also shut down its feature post sound studio after staff completes work on current projects. This closure will likely lead to the loss of 20 more people over the next year, according to a person close to the situation.

Creative executives who work within NBC Entertainment were all spared, though, as the network has experienced an uptick in ratings recently — one of the only major broadcast networks to do so during the new fall TV season.

In other recent news, Cablevision Systems (News - Alert) Corporation signed a long-term distribution deal earlier in November to carry broadcast and cable networks owned by NBCUniversal. The agreement includes broadcast networks NBC and Telemundo as well as cable channels USA, Bravo, MSNBC, CNBC and NBC Sports Network.

Around this time, NBCUniversal executive Hilary Smith was promoted to the position of senior vice president of Communications for the company. In this role, Smith will oversee strategic communications while serving as the lead spokesperson for the division.

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Edited by Brooke Neuman

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