NBC Sports lays off almost all Golf Channel employees in Orlando

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NBCUniversal has finalized previously announced plans to lay off almost of its Orlando based staff as the network prepares to relocate most of its operations to Connecticut.

Back in February, NBC Sports announced plans to consolidate Golf Channel operations in Connecticut in order to take advantage of tax credits and reduce production staff.

NBC Sports opened a massive broadcast production facility in 2013 in Stamford, Connecticut, moving out its offices in NBC headquarters at 30 Rockefeller Center in New York City.

The first group of employees is expected to lose their jobs Aug. 29, 2020. The second phase will go into effect between Oct. 31 and Dec. 31, 2020.

Orlando employees will be eligible fo reapply for jobs and relocate to Connecticut — though NBC had previously stated it plans to transition many duties to staffers already there.

Plans call for the network’s tee time booking service GolfNow and subscription based golf membership plan GolfPass to remain in Orlando.

Golf Channel was launched in 1995 and has called Orlando home since then.

Although the layoffs were planned before the full brunt of the coronavirus pandemic hit, many former Golf Channel employees would likely be eligible to apply for the enhanced unemployment benefits being offered during the crisis.

Florida’s maximum minimum unemployment payment is $275 a week (the equivalent of about $6.87 an hour assuming a 40 hour workweek) and lasts up to 12 weeks. Under new COVID guidelines, an additional $600 per week is available for up to four months, as of this writing, bring the equivalent up to about $21.87 an hour.

Of course, the rules of unemployment are complicated to begin with and the COVID pandemic is making them even more complicated — and difficult to apply for — so each situation will be unique.