CMT has laid off members of its development and talent staff in New York with plans to realign the country-themed network as “family friendly” amid larger restructuring at Viacom, two individuals with knowledge of the situation told TheWrap.
A Viacom representative was unable to confirm the individual staff changes, but issued the following statement to TheWrap regarding the reorganization:
As we announced previously, Viacom is making changes in three of our domestic network groups, creating two new organizations. Today’s changes are part of the process of realigning our resources to meet the new needs of these organizations.
A CMT spokesman says that the individuals who told TheWrap that the network is rebranding toward more “family friendly” programming are inaccurate.
“We are not shifting CMT’s programming direction,” the representative said in a statement. “This will be clear next month when we unveil an ambitious and diverse programming slate that includes new original series and returning favorites.”
The move follows layoffs at Viacom’s TV Land on Thursday and arrives one week after Adam Goodman left his role as head of production at Paramount, which Viacom also owns.
The decisions align with CMT’s re-categorization into Viacom’s new Kids and Family Group, overseen by Cyma Zarghami. In addition to the Nickelodeon brands, the new group includes TV Land, CMT and CMT Pure Country, and consolidated development teams working on more family friendly programming.
But the restructuring seems to have accomplished its desired goal — at least in the short run. Stock prices rose after Viacom announced layoffs and restructuring in mid February.