NEW YORK: American broadcaster NBC Universal is aiming to cut some $500m (€379m; £295m) from its budget for 2009, a figure equating to 3% of its budgetary arrangements for this year.

Areas targeted for spending cuts include promotional expenses, discretionary expenditure (e.g travel) and staff costs, but exact details are not thought to have been finalised as yet.

The company, owned by General Electric, operates a range of broadcast, cable and local TV businesses as well as a movie studio, has already reduced its profit projections this year.

Ceo Jeff Zucker wrote in a memo: "We are living in a time of unprecedented economic challenges. It has become evident that the decline in consumer confidence and spending will impact our operations."

NBC actually posted a 35% increase in revenue in Q3, with profits up 10% to $645m, largely due to the strong performance of its cable channels, films, and its broadcast of the Beijing Olympics.

However, its local stations saw adspend decline by 4.4% in the first half of 2008, and primetime viewing figures on its main network channel are also said to be fluctuating, raising concerns that embattled advertisers may cut back on their outlay.

Data sourced from Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff