Layoffs Hit TV Land Amid Viacom Cable Consolidation

Cyma Zarghami now oversees TV Land

Viacom is merging three cable network groups into two, which led to reductions, with more on the way.

Layoffs hit TV Land on Thursday as part of a larger restructuring by parent company Viacom as it consolidates several divisions. 

A spokesman for Viacom would not say how many people were laid off but indicated it was not a large number. It appears to have impacted the marketing and public relations area in particular, where there were redundancies after the consolidation. “As we announced previously,” the spokesman said, “Viacom is making changes in three of our domestic network groups, creating two new organizations. Today’s changes at TV Land are part of the process of realigning our resources to meet the needs of these organizations.”

The Viacom rep added that this is a multi-step process for the cable giant, and it is likely there will be other changes as the needs and personnel of each of the restructured units is determined. In mid-February, after Van Toffler left as head of the MTV Networks group, Viacom announced plans for sweeping changes. Longtime TV Land president Larry Jones left the company after 27 years, and a new leadership structure at TV Land is expected to be announced in the coming weeks.

TV Land now joins the new Kids & Family Group under Cyma Zarghami, which also includes all of the Nickelodeon networks and the CMT network and CMT Pure Country. The new music and entertainment group, under Doug Herzog, now includes the MTV and VH-1 networks — along with Comedy Central, Logo, Spike and MTV’s Always On. Viacom had two other network groups, which, at least for now, remain intact. They are the BET Networks and the International Media Networks.

The changes at TV Land follow some similar changes at E! Entertainment and Esquire by NBCUniversal. On Wednesday, the marketing departments of those two networks were consolidated. “To more fully align the E! and Esquire marketing department, we have restructured the team, and as a result Leigh Anne Gardner and Tim Rosta are leaving the company," an NBCU spokesperson said in a statement issued Wednesday evening. "We thank them for their contributions and wish them the best.”

In December, NBCU announced that John Najarian had been named executive vp news and digital, and Jen Neal had been named executive vp marketing for both E! and Esquire.