Read this closely: NBCUniversal says it is looking to "right-size its business" and allocate resources to future growth areas, such as new developments in advanced advertising, automation and technology systems.”
Words like automation, advanced advertising and technology carry a lot of weight these days.
All this comes from TV marketers shifting their media and marketing systems -- to more in-house efforts, automated systems in the digital space (and some in the traditional TV space), as well as demanding more efficiencies and the return-on-media investments metric from their media agencies.
Massive TV reach still has it over digital media. But there is erosion, and big TV advertising growth is hard to come by.
In virtually every reporting quarter, many big TV companies see scant percentage gains in advertising revenue -- even when including their own digital media platforms.
This isn’t to say that big TV companies are doing all that bad. It’s just that TV revenues are shifting -- to more transaction-based and subscriber-fee areas, as well as selling of premium content to other distributors.
Even CBS, perhaps one of the bigger pure-play TV companies when it comes to TV ad revenues, makes a point of bringing down its advertising revenue exposure -- now just around 44% of all its revenue, down from 72% in 2006. That is a sign of things to come.
Others, like Walt Disney or Comcast’s NBCUniversal, are already diversified in many other communications and entertainment businesses -- theme parks, cable systems, broadband and big theatrical movies.
These are small changes -- even at the top. Somewhat connected to NBCU’s expected layoffs, it recently restructured two top senior executives. Day-to-day responsibility goes to two presidents -- Laura Molen and Mark Marshall-- while two other senior executives, Mike Rosen and Scott Schiller, departed.
NBC still has around 1,500 employees in advertising. The layoff of about 60 people amounts to a 4% cut.
Small cuts now. What are the big changes later?