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Broadcasting, Cable’s Grim 2006 Job Tally

This from Broadcasting & Cable’s online site:

Last year, almost 18,000 media employees lost their jobs—the biggest group of layoffs since the dotcom bubble burst in 2001.

Some of the world’s biggest “old-media” companies–including MTV Networks (MTVN), NBC Universal, Disney and Discovery Communications–are axing staffers in handfuls and hundreds. In one of the biggest reductions, Time Warner’s AOL began cutting 5,000 employees in December, about 26% of its workforce.

Then a mix of a good and bad news:

The companies won’t say how many employees they are hiring for new digital ventures, such as broadband sites and mobile channels, but their job listings tell the story. Online help-wanted boards for MTVN and NBCU are filled with openings for digital operations: multimedia Web designers and programmers; Website monitors and producers; digital-ad-sales analysts; Flash illustrators; CG animators and mobile marketers.

As they’ve cut away at divisions now deemed dated, redundant or excessive, TV companies have scrambled to introduce an array of digital products in the past year.

Even so, revenue from those new services remains a fraction of the advertising revenue from good old linear TV and will probably stay that way forever.

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