NBCUniversal Lays Off Dozens Across Advertising Division

A person familiar with the matter tells TheWrap that around 50 people were axed

NBC Universal laid off around 50 people this week, mostly within its advertising division, a person familiar with the matter told TheWrap on Thursday.

In a separate statement, the company said the the cuts were necessary to make sure NBC remained competitive.

“From time to time we look across the business to ensure we’re best positioned to stay competitive in this rapidly changing marketplace. As a result, there will be some staffing changes within our advertising division,” a spokesperson told TheWrap.

“NBCUniversal is going through an effort to right size its business and allocate resources to future growth areas, such as new developments in advanced advertising, automation and technology systems.”

The company also plans to eliminate a number of formerly open positions as part of the reorganization.

News that the cuts were looming was first reported Wednesday by the Wall Street Journal. An NBCUniversal spokesperson declined to elaborate about any of the specifics of what may have prompted the layoffs.

The departures come amid a broader season of belt-tightening and media consolidation as players from small start ups to corporate giants look for ways to trim expenditures.

In April, Univision shed roughly 150 employees and later revealed their intention to sell of Gizmodo Media, a slew of web properties acquired with great fanfare from the bankruptcy sale of Gawker Media. BuzzFeed, the New York Daily News and Mic have all shed staff in retrenchments this year as well.