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Zucker: NBC Universal to cut $500 million

Oct. 18, 2008 at 1:28 PM

NEW YORK, Oct. 18 (UPI) -- NBC Universal President Jeff Zucker says his U.S. entertainment group will cut $500 million in expenses next year.

Citing the struggling U.S. economy and dwindling consumer confidence, Zucker announced in a memo Friday that 3 percent of the company's budget will be trimmed from various expenditures, the Los Angeles Times said.

"We are living in a time of unprecedented economic challenges, and it is increasingly clear that the worldwide economic slowdown will continue well into next year," Zucker said in the employee notice.

Among the NBC Universal areas facing cuts are promotions and discretionary funds for outside consultants and travel expenses. Staff cuts are also being considered and department heads have been asked for recommendations, the Times reported.

Zucker recognized how difficult such budgetary changes will be, but reiterated their necessity given the current economic crisis gripping the nation and the world.

"This kind of message is never easy, but it is the right step to make, and the right time to make it," he said. "We have no choice but to respond quickly to the external economic forces that are affecting the entire world economy."

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