NEW YORK – NBC News has begun carrying out layoffs that it said last month were coming as part of a corporate restructuring, affecting mostly off-camera workers on "Dateline NBC," "Today" and "NBC Nightly News."
The only on-camera employees who have been laid off so far are "Dateline NBC" correspondents Edie Magnus and Rob Stafford, according to a network executive who spoke about personnel matters on condition of anonymity.
At the news division, the job cuts are hitting hardest at the newsmagazine, which is producing fewer hours of prime-time programming than it used to. Between 15 and 20 "Dateline NBC" employees are losing their jobs, the official said. "Dateline" fluctuates between 150 and 200 employees, depending on its workload.
The "Today" show, which broadcasts for three hours each day, is losing fewer than five employees, the official said. "NBC Nightly News" with Brian Williams is losing one job. Other layoffs are expected among NBC News jobs not tied to a specific show.
NBC Universal, a division of General Electric Co. (GE), announced in October that it was cutting 700 jobs. The company is also moving its MSNBC studios from New Jersey to the NBC News headquarters in New York's Rockefeller Center.
"This is the culmination of exactly what we announced we would do last month," said NBC News spokeswoman Allison Gollust.
Meanwhile, the NBC Universal-owned Spanish-language network, Telemundo, said it was replacing the local newscasts at several of its smaller stations with a regionally produced newscast.
A newly formed unit, the Telemundo Production Center, will produce the three regional newscasts. A Texas newscast will be made for the Houston, Dallas and San Antonio stations; an Arizona program will be made for Phoenix and Tucson; and a West Coast newscast for Las Vegas and San Jose, Calif. Stations in Fresno, Calif., and Denver still haven't decided which regional newscast to take, said Liz Fischer, NBC Universal spokeswoman.
The regional newscasts will incorporate many of the features of the local ones, and in some cases improve upon them, Fischer said.
The change will reduce Telemundo's work force by 5 percent, she said. She would not say how many workers Telemundo had in total.
Telemundo news operations in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Miami are not affected, she said.