Television

Viacom acquired Comedy Central cuts 20 per cent of workforce

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MUMBAI: Every merger and acquisition brings with it a slew of pink slips. The media sector is no exception. Comedy Central, which claims to be the only all-comedy network, reaching 82 million US households, has just reduced its workforce by 20 per cent. As a result 80 people have lost their jobs.

 

A Reuters report indicates that the aim is to integrate the cable channel with Viacom's MTV Networks. Viacom had purchased AOL Time Warner's 50 per cent stake in the network a couple of months ago.



The job cuts come in those departments whose functions overlap with MTV's centralised operations. These include affiliate sales, legal, finance, human resources and research. Departments that typically operate in a decentralised function such as programming and marketing, were largely unaffected the report states.



Comedy Central issued a statement saying, "This has been a very difficult process for us to go through. We truly have some of the best and brightest people in the business at Comedy Central and, unfortunately, implementing the integration plan means that some very capable, devoted and hard working people will be leaving us." The company is hoping to align its structure to resemble other MTV Networks.



The cutbacks follow a reorganisation of MTV Networks itself, in which Judy McGrath was named MTV Networks group president and the reporting structure was changed, with Larry Divney, president of the cable network, reporting directly to Ms. McGrath. At that time McGrath also was made responsible for responsible for MTV, MTV2, VH1 and CMT.

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