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Layoffs Hit CMT as Viacom Integrates Cabler With MTV Group

An undisclosed number of employees were laid off Wednesday at Viacom’s CMT cabler as part of the integration of the Nashville-based operation with the MTV group headed by Chris McCarthy.

Among the senior executives leaving the cabler in the restructuring are marketing chief Anthony Barton and Nashville office head Suzanne Norman. Most of the pinkslips went to employees working in marketing and functions that will be absorbed largely by existing staffers in the group that encompasses MTV, VH1, Logo and CMT. Nina Diaz, group president of programming and development, will oversee programming for the cabler.

McCarthy’s plans for revitalizing CMT include boosting the channel’s focus on the culture and personalities in Nashville, with programming and live events that reflect the spirit of the country music Mecca. Earlier this week the cabler ordered the game show “Nashville Squares,” a Music City spin on the “Hollywood Squares” format.

Here is a memo McCarthy sent to staffers in his group, which also includes MTV, VH1 and Logo.

Hi everyone,
We have made great progress over the last couple of years to fully harness the creative power of our collective group.
By integrating our departments across brands, removing silos and developing best-in-class creative teams, we are building a stronger group together.
Today, we are taking the next step – as we finalize the integration of CMT with a new, simplified structure.  Moving forward, the CMT marketing, music, scheduling, communications and event production teams will be fully integrated within our group, under our existing unified leadership team. Several CMT leads will be taking on expanded roles working across all of our brands, particularly in partnership marketing and event production.
Unfortunately, however, this new structure does mean some hard changes. A number of our CMT marketing colleagues will be leaving including Anthony Barton, the head of CMT marketing, and Suzanne Norman, the head of our Nashville office.
Suzanne and Anthony are passionate champions for the CMT brand and we are very grateful for their many years of dedication.  Without them, and many of our CMT colleagues, it would not be as strong as it is today.  Please join me in thanking them and wishing everyone continued success.
The heart and soul of CMT is our music programming, tentpoles and deep connection to Nashville – which will be at the center of CMT’s growth plan forward.  Through increased programming and events, we will further amplify Nashville and its thriving country music scene.  More to come on this shortly.
Thank you for your continued support as we transform our group and the company for the future. 
Best,
Chris

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