Heads to roll as MTV restructures int'l biz


LONDON -- MTV Networks international is cutting about 250 jobs as part of a group-wide restructuring, with job cuts falling in London, Latin America and emerging markets in Europe and the Middle East as part of a new focus on high-growth areas.

The cuts, which come on top of 250 job losses in the U.S. announced last month by parent company Viacom, represent about 8% of MTVNI's business, which comprises the international operations of MTV, Nickelodeon and VH1.

MTV will merge its MTV U.K. content and creative group into its international creative hub, but such areas as ad sales, digital media and consumer products will be unaffected by the cuts.

It will restructure some of its London-based operations and focus resources in emerging markets such as Latin America and Eastern Europe as part of its localization strategy.

An MTVNI spokeswoman said the cuts are part of a group-wide focus on "increasing operating profit and increased profitability."

MTVNI president Bob Bakish added that the changes will allow MTVNI to redefine its corporate operations.

"These changes will position us well for the next phase of our growth -- increasing our operating margins through more efficient corporate structures while also mobilizing our resources to build our multiplatform brand portfolios in priority markets and expand growing revenue areas," Bakish said.