About a year after moving into new digs in Seattle’s tallest skyscraper, NBCNews.com is cutting its digital news workforce substantially in the Northwest.
The layoffs on the digital news team are occurring in both New York and Seattle, according to sources.
It’s unclear how many news staffers are being let go, though the news operation has shrunk considerably in Seattle over the years as the company consolidates in New York. A source tells GeekWire that the Seattle office will remain open, and that the cutbacks only impact the news team. The layoffs are effective Jan. 2.
NBCNews.com moved into the Columbia Center in Seattle late last year, taking over about 23,000 square feet of space on floor 26 of the skyscraper. At the time of the decision to move, NBCNews.com employed about 120 people in the Seattle area.
The company had previously operated on Microsoft’s campus in Redmond, part of a joint venture between NBC and Microsoft. In July 2012, Microsoft sold its stake in the joint venture, ending a long-term partnership between the entities.
“We’ll continue to have a strong presence in Seattle,” Vivian Schiller, chief digital officer at NBC News said in an interview on NBCNews.com at the time. “There’s true innovation going on there, and we take that seriously.”
However, the end of the joint venture caused problems for NBCNews.com, which lost a key sales channel in Microsoft. That led to a drop in revenue. Problems accelerated after a deal with MSN expired last summer, causing traffic to drop to NBCNews.com by more than 50 percent, according to one source.
We’ve reached out to NBCNews.com, and we’ll update this post as we hear more.