MTV revamp might cost jobs

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MTV has confirmed an international restructuring that it says might result in 250 job losses, or roughly 8% of its work force.

The broadcaster's London-based United Kingdom operation will be affected, the company said, as will its regional hubs for Latin America, and emerging markets in Europe and the Middle East, which are to undergo "further localization."

The proposed changes in London are being worked out through a collective and individual consultation process in accordance with U.K. employment laws. The process will evolve over several months, an spokesman for MTV Networks International said.

"These changes will position us well for the next phase of our growth — increasing our operating margins through more efficient corporate structures," recently appointed MTVNI president Bob Bakish said. The moves, he said, mobilize "our resources to build our multiplatform brand portfolios in priority markets and expand growing revenue areas such as ad sales, digital media and consumer products."

MTVNI on Feb. 13 alluded to a staff overhaul as part of a move toward the digital age. At the time, MTVNI said that "no restructuring decisions" had been taken at any of its international businesses.

"It's a little bit unclear for everybody," a London-based staffer said. "It's been a rough day. And the next few weeks are going to be tough."

The new structure will take into account a streamlining at the company's Asian business, which resulted in 84 job losses.

MTVNI's business in London will redefine its international corporate operations with a structure that will "more closely align support services to revenue-generating areas and its biggest business."

Some international functions may be amalgamated with MTVN U.K.; others will be restructured to "realize economies of scale through its existing global MTV Networks U.S. base," according to a statement.

Lars Brandle is global news editor at Billboard.
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