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MTVN Cuts, Phase Two

International division will lose 250 jobs 3/02/2007 07:00:00 PM Eastern

A second round of cost-cutting layoffs at Viacom's MTV Networks will mean the loss of 250 positions from its international division.

Based on the cuts, slated for completion by June, MTV Networks International (MTVNI) will restructure its corporate unit in London, merging many departments with those in its UK and U.S. divisions. It will also deploy staffers in centralized international hubs to offices in markets in Europe, the Middle East and Latin America.

The layoffs will reduce MTVNI's workforce by 7.7%—from 3,257 to 3,007—a number that includes minor reductions in Asia earlier this year.

They are designed to increase operating margins by focusing the International division on its biggest outlet—the UK—and consolidating its resources behind the highest-growth departments: program sales, consumer products, and digital media and ad sales, handled by the “Viacom Brand Solutions” group.

The reductions abroad have been expected since the company started paring down its U.S. staff last month. On Feb. 12, MTV Networks began cutting 250 U.S. staffers across its stable of cable brands in an effort to reduce costs and free up resources for new digital ventures, the company said.

Following that, last week, the company reorganized its U.S. ad and affiliate sales divisions and said it will drop its pricy upfront stage show in favor of smaller presentations to advertisers.

Also as part of the international restructuring, employees from centralized hubs abroad will be redeployed into offices in the markets they cover. Staffers from the company's Europe/Middle East “emerging-markets” group who are currently based in London will move to Budapest, Hungary, and Warsaw, Poland. Employees from MTVNI's Latin America group will move from Miami to Buenos Aires.

“These changes will position us well for the next phase of our growth,” said MTVNI President Bob Bakish in a statement.

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