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MTV Oz downsizes

MTV Australia is shedding about 15% of its 100-strong workforce in light of the decision by Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN) to transfer most of its channels’ core functions to London.

The company said the “streamlining” of the Australian business is part of a “leveraging” of its international infrastructure.

Earlier this month sibling Paramount Pictures laid off 110 employees globally in areas such as international theatrical and home media distribution, marketing, legal and finance.

VIMN said the Australian departments being centralised in London include broadcast operations, programming, production, creative, production management, research and acquisitions. It will continue to employ sales, marketing and talent/artist management staff in Australia.

MTV, MTV Hits, MTV Classic and MTV Live are carried on Foxtel’s platform along with sister channels Nickelodeon and Nick Jr.

The VIMN-owned Comedy Central, which airs on Sky TV in New Zealand and has been run out of the Sydney office, will have most of its functions shifted to London.

A spokesman told C21 the lay-offs would amount to “less than 15%” of the Australian staff. Broadcast operations will relocate to London by the end of the year and there would be a staggered transition for other parts of the business.

MTV’s presence in Oz has diminished somewhat in the past few years as its music channels faced stiff competition from Foxtel’s V, V Hits and Max.

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