I understand that NBC Universal will be making about 500 staff reductions overall, and Universal Pictures’ 3% reduction amounts to 70 layoffs worldwide (including Focus Features). Affected personnel will be notified over the next few days:

Dear Colleagues,

As we strive to meet the challenges presented by the struggling economy, leaders from every department at Universal Pictures have worked hard to identify cost saving measures in many areas of our business. Those measures include scaling back on travel, overtime, consultants, premieres, conferences, newspaper marketing and general administrative costs.

While much has been accomplished to find necessary savings, we regret that we must also reduce headcount by around 3%. No company likes to have to make these kinds of decisions, and certainly we are no exception. We want to assure you that everyone has done their best to keep job cuts to an absolute minimum.

The process of communicating with those individuals whose positions are affected has begun today and will continue for the next few days.

We appreciate the effort from everyone who has participated in this difficult process.

Sincerely,
Marc Shmuger and David Linde