MTV still ‘very present locally’ – despite 13 redundancies, production cuts and website merger

MTV has insisted that it is “very present on a local level” in Australia – despite making 13 people redundant, scaling back local production and merging its Australian and New Zealand websites into one as part of a major restructure.

Jobs have been lost across all divisions of the company, including corporate, production, programming, creative and digital. Sales, which is handled by Ignite Media Brands, is unaffected.

According to a statement from MTV, the restructure “allows for improved content delivery systems and enhanced collaboration across MTV creative and commercial teams.”

Katrina Southon

Katrina Southon, senior VP and MD, Viacom International Media Networks, Australia & New Zealand, who oversaw the restructure, told Mumbrella:

As MD, I will ensure that our individual brands and business units regularly adjust to address their evolving strategies. The objective of this exercise was to align MTV’s structure to allow for content delivery in a more strategic, speedy and cost-effective way. Additionally, the Brand Solutions and corporate department restructures allow for our creative and commercial teams to further integrate and fully exploit business opportunities.

To a question on whether MTV was cutting back its local production team because it was cheaper to import ratings winners such as Jersey Shore, Southon said:

Jersey Shore is a ratings winner for MTV, as is Geordie Shore, 16 & Pregnant, Teen Mom, Awkward and other long-form programming. Our audience has a growing appetite for MTV’s global content, and the changes we’ve implemented are putting systems in place that allow us to deliver the global hits in a more strategic and speedy way.

MTV signaled a scaling back of its Australasia operations last year with the removal of its entire New Zealand team of 23 people – some were relocated to Sydney.

Southon added:

We’ll continue to remain very present on a local level, and are fully integrating our commercial and creative teams to maximize business opportunities these present. This month we’re unveiling the MTV Summer line up and international artist will perform at the launch. Our new music initiative, Local Produce, launches in early 2012, MTV News and Mastered by Molly are still in production, and there’s more local content in the pipeline.

The story on MTV’s restructure was originally reported by B&T.


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