The news was grim today for many in the media industry. Viacom announced this morning it will lay off aproximately 850 people (7% of its workforce), freeze salary increases for senior level management in 2009 and take a series of other measures to reduce costs. Multichannel News reports Viacom has been “plagued by domestic advertising performance” that has affected the industry. Viacom stock has taken a beating. Since January 2, it lost 62% of its value.
NBC Universal also brought down the ax. It’s estimated NBCU will slash as many as 500 jobs across the company – about 3% of its total workforce. The Hollywood Reporter says the cuts included as many as 50 jobs at the local media group, 70 on the Universal side of the operations including the film studio, parks and distribution and at least 30 at NBC News. Close to another 80 positions were cut at CNBC. Mark Mullen is among the correspondents who were let go.
Also today, AT&T, said it plans to lay off about 12,000 workers, and reduce 2009 capital expenditures from 2008 levels. While it announces all these layoffs, the company says it is still adding jobs in other parts of the business, including wireless, video and broadband.
CNET reports RealNetworks also did companywide layoffs today, indicating about 130 of the 1800 were given pink slips.