US media giant Viacom announces lay-offs

December 5th, 2008 - 6:16 am ICT by IANS  

Los Angeles, Dec 5 (DPA) Media conglomerate Viacom, the owner of MTV Networks and Paramount Pictures, announced Thursday that it was laying off seven percent of its workforce as it tries to cut costs during the economic downturn.The company said that about 850 people would lose their jobs as Viacom tries to save $250 million a year. Viacom also said it was freezing the salaries of senior management. Together with a write down of programming and other assets, the restructuring would incur charges of over $400 million.

The move comes after ad revenues across the company’s cable stations, like MTV and Nickelodeon, have dropped sharply. The company’s profits were down 37 percent in the last quarter and the share price is down over 60 percent this year.

“The changes we are making in our organization and processes will better position Viacom to navigate the economic slowdown and generate sizable efficiencies that will help us to drive our business as the marketplace stabilizes and conditions improve,” President and Chief Executive Philippe Dauman said in a statement.

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