Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Viacom Lays Off About 100 Employees As Part Of Cost Transformation

Viacom has laid off about 100 employees as the company looks to reduce costs and transform its business operations, reports Deadline. The job losses impact those who work in support services like information technology (IT), finance and human resources, but not those directly involved in content creation.


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“As part of our broader transformation efforts, we are continuously taking steps to strengthen and evolve Viacom for the future,” a spokesperson told Deadline. “Including a focus on becoming a more agile and efficient organization.”

Viacom Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Bob Bakish talked this morning at the MoffettNathanson Media & Communications Summit in New York about the challenges of reinvesting in content while removing costs from the media company’s operations. He said the company is on track to deliver in excess of $100 million in savings this year and more than $300 million in run rate savings in 2019 and beyond.

“The way we’re getting that is through a disciplined approach,” Bakish said during the summit. “We have a chief transformation officer leading this initiative.”

Bakish added that the savings would not be achieved solely through operational efficiencies. “Yes, there are some personnel-related attributes to it,” he said.

Also, from L.A. Biz:

Viacom cuts 100 jobs to cut costs

Viacom Inc. has issued pink slips to about 100 employees amid ongoing restructuring and cost-cutting at the New York media conglomerate.

The layoffs reportedly hit support staff in departments such as information technology, finance and human resources. Employees involved with content creation are not affected.

Deadline first reported the news.

“As part of our broader transformation efforts, we are continuously taking steps to strengthen and evolve Viacom for the future, including a focus on becoming a more agile and efficient organization,” a spokesperson said.

Viacom (NASDAQ: VIAB, VIA) President and CEO Bob Bakish alluded to the company’s cost-cutting moves in a conference call with analysts last month, saying, “Cost transformation efforts continue, and we are on track to deliver in excess of $100 million of savings in this year and more than $300 million in run rate savings in 2019 and beyond.”

At the time he also said, “Very importantly to us, a significant majority of these savings are not headcount reductions. Instead, most are driven by a continuation of our efforts to de-silo the company and act as one Viacom, consolidating real estate within given markets, standardizing policies and procedures, benefiting from our purchasing scale and more.”

In Viacom’s last annual report from November 2017, the company said it employed more than 10,000 full- and part-time workers worldwide, so this week’s layoffs account for a staff reduction of less than 1 percent.

The move comes amid a messy attempt to merge Viacom, whose divisions include Paramount Pictures and cable networks such as Nickelodeon, MTV and Comedy Central, with CBS Corp. (NYSE: CBS).

This week CBS moved to halt the merger with a lawsuit alleging that Shari Redstone, a controlling shareholder in both companies who's pushing for the remarriage, breached fiduciary duties, derided the chief operating officer, and tried to undermine the management team by talking to potential CEO replacements.

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