News

Layoff Bug Bites TNN

1/24/2001 9:31 AM Eastern

MTV Networks is laying off 125 employees, most of them staffers at TNN: The
National Network in Nashville, Tenn., officials said Wednesday.

The layoffs, which represent 35 percent of MTVN's Nashville work force, come
as the programmer moves to make New York the new base for TNN, which was
formerly The Nashville Network. The laid-off workers will be leaving the company
during the next six months.

'Given TNN's new national position and programming focus, it will now be
based in New York, allowing the network to take full advantage of MTV Networks'
operations and resources here,' MTVN said in a prepared statement.

Viacom Inc. merged MTVN and CBS Cable, which owned country-music networks TNN
and CMT: Country Music Television, both Nashville-based. But MTVN has
repositioned TNN from a county-music service to a 'pop entertainment
network.'

The Nashville layoffs involve employees who work for TNN and the TNN section
of country.com. TNN's online operations
will be relocating to New York, and country.com will exclusively pertain to
country music.

MTVN officials stressed that CMT's headquarters and operations will remain in
Nashville.

'CMT remains completely committed to remaining in Nashville and programming
country music,' MTVN said in its statement.

TNN's sports and outdoor-programming unit, headed by Brian Hughes, will be
staying in Nashville, a TNN spokeswoman said.

However, the uplinking of CMT and TNN will now be handled by MTVN's
operations center, which is based in Long Island, N.Y.