TV Land Chief Latest Viacom Restructuring Casualty

Jones Tells Staff He’s Stepping Down
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A day after MTV veteran Van Toffler said he was stepping down as part of a sweeping Viacom restructuring, TV Land president Larry Jones said he too would be leaving the programmer.

Toffler, who had been with Viacom for 28 years and was one of the executives that pioneered the MTV brand, announced Tuesday that he will step down as president of MTV Networks Music & Logo group in April to start a new venture as an independent producer.

Jones, who has been with Viacom since 1998,  announced his departure as part of a major corporate restructuring at the parent company that is expected to be unveiled as soon as this week.

“It’s truly not an overstatement to say that I have loved every second of being at TV Land for the past 18 years as part of my 27 years with Viacom,” Jones said in a memo to staff.  “With that said, due to the restructuring, I will be stepping down from my role with the company.”

Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman hinted at the restructuring in a recent conference call with analysts to discuss quarterly results. In his own memo to staff after the Toffler resignation, Dauman said that more details of the transition would come shortly.

Viacom has been plagued by ratings declines and sagging advertising revenue. In the fiscal first quarter, domestic ad sales were down 6%.

TV Land has been undergoing a transformation from classic TV reruns to more original programming, like Sex and the City creator Darren Star’s Younger,  set to premiere on March 31 and new comedies,Impastor and Teachers, all aimed at attracting a younger audience.

Here is Jones’ memo in its entirety:

To My TV Land Family,

It’s truly not an overstatement to say that I have loved every second of being at TV Land for the past 18 years as part of my 27 years with Viacom.  With that said, due to the restructuring, I will be stepping down from my role with the company.

I am so proud of the work we have accomplished over the years and especially excited about the new initiatives we have coming up on TV Land.  The channel is on the verge of amazing things and I’m constantly impressed by the team of people who have worked tirelessly to make it all happen.  This has been so much more than a job to me and as I have often said to all of you, I always felt we were on a mission... a mission to be successful, to be creative and to make something that we could all be unapologetically proud of each and every day. It’s that mission that made it so easy to come to “work” everyday and be with all of you and for that, I thank you.

I am so happy to have been a part of the great legacy of this network.  The great thing about television and all the platforms we now exist on is that I will be able to watch you every step of the way as you continue on the mission…

Peace.

L

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