AT&T lays off some PR staff in wake of merger

IRVING, TX: PRWeek has learned the telecommunications giant has begun making layoffs in its PR department, most of which are employees formerly with legacy AT&T.

IRVING, TX: PRWeek has learned the telecommunications giant has begun making layoffs in its PR department, most of which are employees formerly with legacy AT&T.

AT&T spokesperson Walt Sharp said when the merger of SBC Telecommunications and AT&T occurred, the company announced that there were 13,000 jobs "that were redundant and would be phased out" over a period of three years. Sharp said it was the corporate groups that would be most affected.

"We are not announcing specific numbers and we are not breaking it down by department, region or location," Sharp said. "This will be an ongoing process for three years."

A source told PRWeek they were unsure of the exact number of people being laid off in the PR department, but that prior to the merger, legacy AT&T had been scaling back its comms/PR team. The source also said the new AT&T will apparently be keeping at least half a dozen "old" AT&T PR people, who worked on the b2b side. Prior to the merger AT&T had a comms/PR team of about 60 people--a smaller group than it had in previous years.

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