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VNU Begins Massive Layoffs

HAARLEM, Netherlands (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Dutch media conglomerate VNU started a series of layoffs on Friday to reduce its workforce by 4,100 jobs, nearly ten percent of its total international workforce according to VOX Media services. The layoffs are expected to continue throughout 2007.

VNU was formed in 1964 and has since expanded its presence to over 100 countries. It is the parent corporation of numerous media publications. The conglomerate is comprised of three different groups:

Marketing Information: VNU is a leading market research company. The MI group provides metrics on the sale of consumer goods and monitors trends in consumer attitudes and behavior.

Media Measurement and Information: This division gives VNU a strong presence in the field of audience information in relation to media and entertainment. They provide audience metrics for television, motion pictures, radio, print, the Internet, and other major media. The group also tracks the sale of CDs, videos, DVDs and books, and monitor where and how advertising money is spent.

Business Information: The Business Information provides news services through trade publications, trade shows and web presences.

VNU's layoffs will not affect its cash-cow, Neilsen Media Research, which provides, among other things, television ratings. NMR has been largely spared from the cuts and is apparently very profitable with a reported double digit increase in earnings this year.

VNU was recently acquired by a private equity firm and ex-GE exec Dave Calhoun has been retained as the new CEO who reportedly got a compensation package worth an astounding $100 million dollars, a fact that must surely leave a bitter taste in the mouths of 4,100 soon-to-be ex-employees of VNU. – CelebrityAccess Staff Writers