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VIVENDI WEIGHS STAFF CUTS

Corporate Could Take Hit in New York, Paris Offices

Vivendi Universal is considering deep cutbacks of its corporate staff in both Paris and New York as the conglomerate moves to right itself amid a cash crunch, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Vivendi Universal notified its corporate staff last week that Constantin Group, a consultant hired by the company, had recommended the elimination of 100 jobs at Vivendi's headquarters in Paris, where it has about 370 corporate employees, and about 130 jobs at the New York office, where it has a staff of 200.

The recommendations come after a review of corporate efficiency that was launched this spring, not by new Vivendi Chairman Jean-Rene Fourtou, but by his predecessor, Jean-Marie Messier.

Vivendi hasn't yet decided how closely it will follow the advice of the consultants.

In a memo to staffers, VU says it does "anticipate changes and plan to announce these to the general employee population as soon as possible," according to the Journal.

So far, the new Vivendi management hasn't ordered any job cuts or spending reductions at the company's various divisions, which include record company Universal Music Group and movie studio Universal Pictures.

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