MTVN Absorbs CBS Cable Ops

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New York - The operations of Viacom Inc.'s MTV Networks and CBS Cable-which includes The Nashville Network and Country Music Television-will merge under the leadership of MTVN chairman Tom Freston, officials said last Thursday.

As a result, CBS Cable president Don Mitzner and Lloyd Werner, executive vice president of sales and marketing, will leave the company. Mitzner will stay for a while as part of the transition team, Freston said.

MTVN will immediately move to combine key CBS Cable functions with those of MTVN, such as ad sales, affiliate sales, business affairs and research. Freston said there will be layoffs, but he doesn't know how many will be affected yet. That will be determined in the next 45 days. TNN and CMT president Dave Hall will stay on, reporting to Freston.

The company plans to divest CBS Cable's regional sports channels-Home Team Sports in Baltimore and Midwest Sports Channel in Minneapolis-Milwaukee.

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