NBC News officials said yesterday that they had begun laying off employees connected to its flagship programs – including “Today,” “NBC Nightly News With Brian Williams” and “Dateline NBC” – as part of companywide budget cuts announced last month by the division’s corporate parent, NBC Universal.
The staff of “Dateline” – the newsmagazine that once commanded as many as four hours of NBC’s prime-time schedule, but which will appear twice weekly most weeks this television season – has been cut the deepest so far. At least 15 of that program’s full-time staff members have been told that they will lose their jobs, said an NBC official who had been directly briefed on the plans but would discuss them only on condition of anonymity.
Most of those being laid off from “Dateline” are producers, but two correspondents, Edie Magnus and Rob Stafford, have also been told to leave, the official said. Their departure was reported on Monday by TV Week, a trade publication.