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Viacom cues change in German music TV

Viva to lose 120 permanent, 90 temp staffers

This article was corrected on March 2, 2005.

COLOGNE — Viacom has announced operational changes in its Teutonic music channels now that it has swallowed up MTV’s former rival Viva Media.

Music TV activities will be based in Berlin while the entertainment business, which is basically Viva’s successful subsidiary Brainpool, will be in Cologne. The new MTV Networks Europe department for business development will be in Cologne, headed by Viva’s topper Dieter Gorny.

The plans were announced Monday, after intensive talks between MTV and the state government of North Rhine Westphalia, which wants to keep media activities and jobs in Cologne.

Some 120 permanent jobs and 90 temporary posts will be lost in Viva’s music department. This leaves roughly 40 staffers to be relocated to Berlin.

“Our first priority is to work on new content, and to invest in local production,” said Catherine Muehlemann, future topper of the joint web groups. MTV will promote upcoming German artists through a new music award.

Concentrating on local acts was Viva’s original ace, making it a serious competitor for MTV within a few years of its establishment in 1993.

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