MTV whacks 20% of Comedy staff

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There were no yuks at Comedy Central, as new owner MTV Networks swung the
long-expected ax, cutting 80 employees, or 20% of the network's work force.

The layoffs were inevitable fallout from MTVN's $1.2 billion purchase of the
50% interest in the network it didn't already own.

MTVN centralizes a lot of services to its portfolio of networks, so a lot of
positions at stand-alone Comedy Central were redundant.

"Unfortunately, implementing the integration plan means some very
capable, devoted and hard-working people will be leaving us -- people who have
made lasting contributions over the years," the network said in a memo to
employees Tuesday.

Areas targeted for layoffs included affiliate sales, legal, human resources,
research, information systems, creative services, finance, production
management, planning and design and network operations.

"We immediately froze open heads at MTV Networks and we have been able to
fill some of those positions with Comedy Central employees who are impacted by
the plan," the programmer said.

The network did not say how many employees avoided the ax by shifting into
any of those vacant MTVN positions.

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