MTV Networks has laid off close to 100 employees, with the cuts affecting multiple divisions and staffers at all levels of the Viacom Inc.-owned company, sources said.
The staff is believed to have been notified of the cuts Thursday, with sources adding that the areas affected by layoffs include departments at the MTV Music Group channels, including MTV and VH1. It also is believed that the cuts affected MTV Networks employees working in business operations and human resources.
It’s not clear how high in the executive ranks the layoffs reached, but sources said they went at least to the vp level and that it doesn’t appear that another round of layoffs is imminent.
MTV Networks declined comment Thursday. However, sources said that one reason for the layoffs might have been MTV Networks’ desire to grow its business in the digital space and on multiple platforms, likely resulting in a reallocation of resources.
That sentiment was reflected in recent comments by Tom Freston, who takes over as president and CEO of the streamlined new Viacom on Jan. 1. He called Viacom “a fully integrated, multiplatform global company,” adding that “I want to be on as many platforms as possible and to touch consumers wherever they are in as meaningful way as possible.”
Along those lines, MTV Networks and mobile entertainment company Amp’d Mobile this week announced a deal that will see the two companies co-develop exclusive original content for Amp’d Mobile subscribers.
In a separate announcement, also this week, MTV Networks and Microsoft Corp. said they will be starting a service called Urge next year that will include free and premium radio stations, subscription and paid download music, streaming video and other features. Other recent initiatives include the broadband offerings MTV Overdrive and Comedy Central’s MotherLoad.