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MTVN Cuts Loose 250 Staffers

There will be pink slips aplenty at MTV Networks this week as Viacom will cut 250 jobs across its array of domestic and international properties.

MTV Networks chairman and CEO Judy McGrath told employees of the planned restructuring Monday morning via e-mail. Noting that MTVN has changed its operations “to become a truly multiplatform content company,” McGrath wrote that in order “to keep winning in this revolutionary environment, we have to refine our business and organizational models, as well.”

McGrath told employees that MTVN plans to “build resources against some new businesses -- our interactive properties and some of our new networks.” Others, though, will face reductions. Internationally, the company is “exploring new business models for television and online, which will be evaluated over the near term.”

As such, MTVN will be “fine-tuning” how it runs all of its groups: Music and Logo; Kids and Family; Entertainment; International; and Sales and Strategic Services (which consists of human resources, legal and communications). In the wake of that reassessment, McGrath said that department leaders would be meeting with the impacted employees, with “the majority of the process completed this week.”

Recent weeks have seen some top-level executives exit: MTVN president and chief operating officer Michael Wolf; president of affiliates sales and marketing Nicole Browning; and executive vice president of cable distribution and affiliate marketing Peter Low all left in mid-January. Denise Dahldorf has been promoted to oversee MTVN’s affiliate sales and marketing corps.

Viacom’s chief financial officer, Michael Dolan, left the company at the turn of the year.

The cuts follow the Labor Day ouster of former MTV topper Tom Freston by Sumner Redstone. The Viacom chairman installed CEO Philippe Dauman in Freston’s spot, while Dolan’s role was taken over by Thomas Dooley, Viacom senior executive vice president, chief administrative officer and a long-time Redstone adviser.