Par lays off 16 at film units

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As part of an anticipated housecleaning at MTV Films and Nickelodeon Movies, Paramount Pictures laid off eight staff members and eight freelance temps Friday at the two film units.

Paramount upgraded the two units last month , moving them under the control of the Paramount Motion Picture Group and appointing Scott Aversano to head the two labels (HR 9/8).

Several of those laid off were offered new jobs within parent company Viacom's cable channels, though the studio did not provide details.

As already announced, David Gale, who had headed MTV Films as executive vp, has moved to the newly created position of executive vp new media and specialty film content at MTV Networks (HR 6/27).

Julia Pistor, who had served as senior vp at Nick Movies, is expected to work independently with Nick on a project-by-project basis, though that is not part of a full-fledged production deal.

Aversano is expected to appoint a new staff in the coming weeks.
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