In This Economy: Layoffs Emerge at Universal Music Group

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Universal Music Group (UMG) triggered a layoff round Thursday, according to numerous sources inside and outside the organization.

Twitter was also bubbling with the news, though accounts differed on the exact headcount reduction.  An estimate from Billboard pegged the pare-down at 50, and Variety offered the same.  Variety also pointed to reductions across Verve, Def Jam, Interscope and Universal Motown, as well as Universal Music Group Distribution.

Separately, a representative at UMG confirmed the reduction without offering specifics.  “Universal Music Group is continuing to transform our organization to better serve our artists and business partners,” the company offered in a statement.  “Given the current economic climate, we have to be as agile and efficient as possible.”

That was hardly consolation to those losing their gigs.  Sources on the inside were understandably downbeat, especially considering the multi-departmental nature of the downsizing.