Viacom to cut 171m in costs

Viacom International, the owner of MTV, is slashing 850 jobs globally and freezing senior management pay. The move is part of a cost-cutting plan to save up to $250m (£171m) next year.

Viacom is also the parent company of Paramount Pictures and TV channels Comedy Central, Nickelodeon and BET. It says the job cuts will reduce its global workforce of about 12,300 by 7%.

It is also suspending senior management salary increases next year and writing down “certain programming and other assets”.

Viacom says its restructuring and writedown will result in a pre-tax charge of between $400m (£270m) and $450m (£304m) in the fourth quarter this year. But the cost-cutting measures are expected to result in pre-tax savings of between $200m (£135m) and $250m (£169m) next year.

“We are moving rapidly to adapt to the challenges presented by the current economic environment,” says Viacom president and chief executive Philippe Dauman.

He adds: “The changes we are making in our organisation 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 stabilises and conditions improve.”

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