The exact toll that media conglomerate Viacom Inc.’s just announced jobs cuts will take on the staff and structure of MTV will be delivered to that division’s department heads today, according to an internal memo sent to employees from Judy McGrath, chairman/CEO of MTV Networks, obtained by PaidContent.org.
In the memo, McGrath hinted at some of the changes to come – consolidation of groups, centralizing functions and outsourcing – while leaving out specific details regarding how the cuts will impact employees.
“Specific details of the changes and how they affect you and your group will be communicated by your department heads today. Our International organization continues to implement a new approach to structure and operations, which has been underway throughout the year. Further moves will be outlined by the leadership of each MTVNI region,” said McGrath.
The cuts are part of Viacom’s larger plan to slash 850 jobs and freeze some senior-level raises. The company said the cuts will affect about 7 percent of its work force and hit all departments.
The job cuts and suspension of some raises for senior-level executives in 2009 is expected to generate pretax savings of $200 million to $250 million next year, according to AP.
“The changes we are making in our organization and processes will better position Viacom to navigate the economic slowdown and generate sizable efficiencies that will help us to drive our business as the marketplace stabilizes and conditions improve,” Viacom president and chief executive Philippe Dauman said in a statement.
– MTV and RealNetworks closed the New York office of their joint Rhapsody America online music venture, according to media blog Gawker. Approximately 25 staffers were cut and the service will now be run out of Real’s west coast offices.
– At CMT, 25 people were let go, roughly 10 percent of the staff, according to a source familiar with the situation. Among those exiting are Joe Zanger, who served as senior producer and managing editor of CMT Radio, and Rebecca Sanders, who was part of the publicity department.
Additional reporting by Ken Tucker