NBC_Universal_Digital.jpgNBC Universal plans to cut $500 million from its 2009 budget, FierceMobileContent reports, in what is billed as the first major cut by a U.S. media giant in the face of a rapidly shrinking economy.

“We are living in a time of unprecedented economic challenges,” writes NBC Universal CEO Jeff Zucker in a company memo mailed Friday. “It has become evident that the decline in consumer confidence and spending will impact our operations.”

This will likely turn out to be the first real test of how well mobile media initiatives hold up in the face of budget pressure, as NBC Universal has one of the most robust mobile divisions in existence in a media company at present (at least in the U.S.).