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NBCU Layoffs Begin at ‘Dateline’

Nov 10, 2006  •  Post A Comment

Layoffs at NBC News, dictated by the plan to cut 700 jobs at NBC Universal, have begun with “Dateline NBC.”

Sources familiar with the involuntary separation process that began Thursday expect there to be approximately 15 layoffs nationwide on “Dateline” by the time the axe stops swinging at the magazine show that has been both the network’s utility player and the team that turned out instant specials on breaking big news stories.

The axe will fall at “Today” and “NBC Nightly News” next week, with the unpleasant duties done by midweek.

Since NBCU management intends to have the paring process all but completed by Thanksgiving, layoffs are expected to begin momentarily in other divisions, including the stations group.

The ultimate total of layoffs within NBC News is unknown, but people familiar with events so far say that many more employees than expected took voluntary exit packages. That helped reduce the number of layoffs required.

The “Dateline” layoffs reportedly included correspondents Robb Stafford and Edie Magnus, a number of producers and talent bookers. Sources said writers had been urged to seriously consider the buyout or early retirement options, because there was no longer much need for them.

A spokesperson for NBC News declined to comment.