Cable Nets’ Staffs Survive NBC U 2.0

Cable entertainment networks owned by NBC Universal will likely be immune to the layoffs that will ensue from the operational overhaul called NBCU 2.0 that the TV and entertainment company announced earlier this week, which is aimed at transitioning it to more of a digital-media future.

While NBCU will eliminate 5% of its global work force, including significant changes in its news operations, as part of a plan to cut $750 million in operating expenses by the end of 2007, employees at USA Network, Sci Fi Channel and Bravo won’t be receiving pink slips.

“We don’t expect any layoffs at the cable entertainment networks,” NBC U Cable Entertainment and Cross-Platform Strategy president Jeff Gaspin said, adding that those networks have been preparing for NBC U’s digital transition over the past year. “We’ve been carefully managing jobs that were open,” he said.

To that end, Gaspin said, “20-30 people had already been shifted to the digital group,” which had been active with the debut of broadband channels for Sci Fi and Bravo.

NBC U plans to substantially reduce its 6,000-person staff at its news-gathering operations. As part of the consolidation, MSNBC will shutter its facility in Secaucus, N.J., with much of its remaining staff moving to NBC News in Manhattan (