MTV to cut 80 UK posts

LONDON - MTV is to axe up to 80 UK-based staff as part of parent Viacom's plans to slash 850 posts worldwide and save at least $200m (£137m) next year.

Cuts: plans to cut 80 jobs in the UK are part of a major review of MTV's UK operations
Cuts: plans to cut 80 jobs in the UK are part of a major review of MTV's UK operations

MTV, operator of services such as MTV One and Paramount Comedy Channel, employs 750 staff in its Camden and Oxford Street offices, in both MTV Networks UK and MTV Networks International. The cutbacks, subject to a 30-day consultation period, would therefore cull about 10% of MTV UK’s staff.

There are also plans to review MTV’s short-form production facilities and UK-based transmission services and the company is looking at a number of options including outsourcing in both areas. MTV UK already outsources all of its long-form production provision for shows.

In a statement to Media Week, MTV Networks International said: MTV Networks International (MTVNI) announced organisational changes across multiple divisions in line with Viacom’s announcement to reduce overhead and realign resources.

MTVNI’s changes will focus resources in high growth businesses units and support MTVNI's newly implemented regionalisation and creative model.

This ongoing strategy will increase coordination and collaboration across MTVNI’s divisions and will be finalised over the following months. In the UK, MTV/MTVNI has entered into a formal consultation process.

Earlier this month, Viacom announced a major restructuring across its entire global business, which includes MTV Networks and Paramount Pictures, to cut 7% of its workforce.

The restructuring and write-downs together will result in a pre-tax charge of between $400m (£273m) and $450m (£307m) in the fourth quarter of this year. However, the cutbacks are expected to improve profitability, resulting in pre-tax savings of between $200m (£137m) and $250m (£170m) in 2009.

Viacom said the plan was designed to better align its costs with what it termed "evolving economic conditions".

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