Sweeping layoffs hit cable network

Lou Wallach is ankling his position as Comedy Central’s Gotham-based programming guru, a victim of the sweeping layoffs conducted last week by the cabler’s parent company, Viacom.

As details about last week’s cuts begin to emerge, it appears that some surprising names — starting with the well-regarded Wallach — were among the casualties.

Wallach has established himself as a fixture in the New York comedy biz. He spearheaded the development of some of the network’s biggest series successes in recent years, including not only the wildly popular “Chappelle’s Show,” but also “Insomniac With Dave Attell,” “Crank Yankers,” “TV Funhouse” and the “Comedy Central Presents” standup franchise.

With Comedy Central aggressively developing its digital platforms as a kind of talent farm system, Wallach also is credited for gestating some of the network’s biggest online hits, including the talking-testicles-themed “Baxter and McGuire.”

However, Comedy Central has increasingly moved development of shortform Web vids to Atom Films as the cabler continues to integrate the acquired company into its broadband portfolio.

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