Viacom has cut about 100 jobs while at the same time shaking up the leadership at Nickelodeon, one of its core networks.
In a memo, obtained by TheWrap, Viacom CEO Bob Bakish broke the news to employees.
“While these changes didn’t impact a large percentage of our workforce, I know they were difficult nonetheless,” Bakish wrote. “We are saying goodbye to some great team members, some of whom have been here for a long time and have made an important impact on this organization. We’re so grateful for their contributions and want to assure you we’re taking many steps to make their transitions easier.”
Bakish added that the layoffs aren’t only about cutting costs, but also about making Viacom a more “agile and efficient organization.”
At the same time, Viacom is reportedly shifting the leadership roles somewhat at Nickelodeon. According to the Wall Street Journal, Sarah Levy, who last year was put in charge of operations for MTV, Comedy Central, VH1, Spike, CMT, TV Land, Logo and Viacom International Media Networks, is adding Nickelodeon to her purview as well.
Cyma Zarghami, the current president of Nickelodeon, will take on a lesser role with the network. As the report points out, Zarghami’s contract expires soon and she may not stay with the company.
Levy, in addition to increasing her role with Nickelodeon, will also take on a bigger role at BET.
All of these developments within Viacom are occurring as the company is once again exploring a possible remerger with CBS, from which it officially split in 2006. Last week, the companies announced a special committee had been formed to look into potentially combining, a move supported by National Amusements, which holds a controlling interesting in both CBS and Viacom.
“National Amusements supports the processes announced by CBS and Viacom to evaluate a combination of the two companies, which we believe has the potential to drive significant, long-term shareholder value. National Amusements does not currently intend to make any further comments regarding the process,” the company said in a statement.