NBC News shutting down Peacock Productions unit

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NBC News is shutting down its Peacock Productions unit.

  • The shutdown takes effect March 2, 2020.
  • Peacock Productions produces mainly documentary style content for MSNBC and other channels, both in and outside of the NBCUniversal family.
  • Instead the network said it is “shifting” is documentary production model to be “consistent with industry trends.”
  • The unit’s employees will be affected, though NBCU said it is hoping to find roles for them within its other business units — but it did not indicate how many positions would be affected by the shutdown.
  • The unit launched in 2007, producing “American Swap” for MSNBC, and “Skywire Live with Nik Wallenda” for Discovery Channel and special “Surviving R. Kelly: The Impact” for Lifetime.
  • While there is still a need for documentary programming, new approaches popularized by Netflix and other digital platforms have spurred shifts in the format.
  • It’s worth noting that Peacock Productions is separate from Peacock, the streaming service the NBC network announced for a 2020 launch and the OTT service launch is not affected by this change.