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NBC News announces layoffs; correspondents let go

NBC News announces layoffs; correspondents let go

Several correspondents and other staff were laid off at NBC News this week as part of $500 million in planned cuts at General Electric Co.'s NBC Universal, according to a person familiar with the situation.
The moves at NBC News brought the division into line with the corporate goal of a 3 percent budget cut, said the person, who requested anonymity because she was not authorized to speak publicly about it.
The news division has about 1,200 employees. Among those laid off were Dallas reporter Don Teague, "Dateline NBC" West Coast correspondent John Larson and Mark Mullen, who served as Beijing Olympics bureau chief.
The staff are to leave by January. Several have accepted buyouts and voluntary retirement packages.
The staff reductions are part of the cuts NBC Universal Chief Executive Jeff Zucker announced in a memo in October, saying "it has become evident that the decline in consumer confidence and spending will impact our operations" and that the company "must take steps now to prepare for these new economic realities."
Some staff in the NBC ad sales division were also let go, according to a report The Hollywood Reporter posted online Thursday.
The cuts came the same day Viacom Inc., owner of MTV Networks, BET Networks and Paramount Pictures, announced it would trim 850 jobs, or 7 percent of its work force, freeze some senior-level salaries and write down certain programming and other assets.
Viacom's moves are expected to generate pretax savings of $200 million to $250 million next year. The company will take a restructuring charge of $400 million to $450 million, or 42 cents to 48 cents per share, before taxes in the current quarter, which ends Dec. 31.