MTV Networks, which has already had several rounds of layoffs, is doing
another cut that will trim 450 people, or about 9 percent of its work force
Pinched by a miserable advertising market, Viacom Inc.'s MTVN is mounting a
restructuring that will include: reorganizing Nickelodeon; consolidating Nick at
Nite and TV Land; restructuring management at VH1; completing The National
Network's move to New York; and shutting down MTV's in-house animation studio,
shifting that work to outside producers.
The cutbacks were outlined in a memo MTVN chairman Tom Freston sent to
employees Monday. The biggest job loss will be at MTV Interactive, with those
online businesses being integrated back into MTVN and their offices moved from
770 Broadway back to MTVN's Times Square headquarters.
Citing the 'new economic times,' Freston wrote, 'This has been a very tough
and painful decision for us to have made. We have the best people in the
business at this company and decisions like this, unfortunately, will mean that
very capable, devoted and hard-working people leave us.'
The belt-tightening will include the centralization of the
affiliate-marketing departments for MTVN's various services, as well as
consolidation of the MTV Latin America and Nickelodeon Latin America
'Earlier in the year, we cut many marketing and other activities, but it has
become evident that a different organizational model was also needed if we were
to continue to be leaders,' Freston said in his memo.
In January, Viacom's merger of its MTVN and CBS Cable units resulted in the
layoff of 125 staffers.