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Viacom Begins Layoffs: Read CEO’s Internal Memo to Staff

Content creators largely safe from cost-cutting move

Last Updated: February 6, 2018 @ 1:04 PM

Viacom has started another round of staff layoffs as part of its ongoing cost-cutting effort, TheWrap has learned.

The job cuts, which are expected to not reach triple digits, will be focused on support employees — so not those directly involved in content creation. The affected staff represents less than 1 percent of the company’s 10,000 employees.

CEO Bob Bakish addressed the “changes across the organization” in an internal memo obtained by TheWrap Tuesday.

“While these changes didn’t impact a large percentage of our workforce, I know they were difficult nonetheless,” Bakish wrote to staff. “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.”

Viacom owns Comedy Central, MTV, the recently rebranded Paramount Network, BET, VH1, Nickelodeon, CMT and other cable channels. The publicly traded corporation is also home to movie studio Paramount Pictures.

Viacom used to be part of CBS. The two companies are considering remerging into one again.

The company is set to report its third-quarter earnings on Thursday. Bakish stated during Viacom’s last earnings call in November 2017 that the company was evaluating some cost-cutting efforts.

Read the Bakish’s memo in its entirety below.

Team,

I know there’s been a lot of news in the past week – over the last year, in fact – about change (or potential change) in this company. I think it’s important to remember that so much of this change, while not always easy, has made us stronger. We’ve brought in new talent, re-energized our brands, rebuilt relationships – both inside these walls and out – and taken many other steps to strengthen and evolve our company for the future.

And, yes, sometimes change means making tough decisions – like today, where we made some changes across the organization. While these changes didn’t impact a large percentage of our workforce, I know they were difficult nonetheless. 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.

It’s also very important to understand how purposeful our changes have been. It isn’t just about cutting costs – although we want savings, too, and more flexibility to invest in new areas. These moves are really about our continued efforts to create a more agile and efficient organization that can thrive in a time of constant change. I’ll be giving you more context around all of this in our Bob Live on Thursday, and can take any questions you have.

I’m so proud of all we’ve accomplished over the past year, and couldn’t be more excited about the opportunity the change in our industry creates. I want us to be an organization that is energized by reinventing this business, and has the capability and capacity to constantly transform. Let’s continually push ourselves to discover what’s new, and what’s next. Let’s get out of our silos and learn from each other, and create the new faster. Let’s embrace change and possibility.

Thank you for supporting each other through this process, and for your continued focus in driving us forward.

Best,
Bob