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Viacom Sees Cost Savings of $250M After Wrapping Restructuring by End of March

Viacom expects to complete most of its restructuring efforts by the end of March, the entertainment company’s chief executive said at an investor conference Monday, and should be able to save around $250 million as a result.

Speaking at an event organized by Deutsche Bank, Viacom chief executive Philippe Dauman said the company, which operates MTV, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon, was reorganizing and would retire certain kinds of programming that were less effective as more content its networks might show turns up on subscription-video-on-demand services.

Some older programming “just doesn’t work anymore, especially when you have off-broadcast programming that is on SVOD,” Dauman said. “We are going to abandon some of that programming as we go forward, and continue to invest in what works, and that will help us grow”

Dauman’s remarks come as Viacom has worked to reorganize its TV networks as they grapple with ratings shortfalls. In recent weeks the company has shed senior staffers like veteran programmer Van Toffler and TV Land president Larry Jones, and reorganized its ad-sales staff. In the past, Viacom had three separate units of TV networks, but it is placing Comedy Central and Spike alongside MTV, VH1 and Logo in hopes of burnishing general-entertainment content while placing CMT and TV Land alongside its suite of kids-focused Nickelodeon outlets to sell a passel of family-entertainment properties.

The executive said Viacom was stepping up investment in original programming, specifically scripted programs, across its networks.

He also indicated Viacom saw continued opportunity for growth in operating TV networks overseas.

 

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