In mid-February, it was widely rumored (but not by us) that up to 500 jobs would be lost at the still-so-very-relevant MTV after reports hinted that parent company Viacom was "disappointed" with its offspring's performance of late. We are here to recap the goings-on at our fifth favorite music video conglomerate.
A few weeks ago, MTV president Christina Norman responded to the (remaining) employees concerned with rampant web whispers and the future of MTV as they knew it with a post-layoff statement that contained the usual array of awesome phrases about "losing good people" and finding "new ways to connect with our audience" and needing everybody's "creativity, passion and innovation more than ever as we embark on the next great era for MTV, representing and reflecting young people [just as long as they are blonde, bronzed, and buxom -- writer's note]. It ended up being closer to 250 MTV workers losing their jobs, mostly in the Program Planning & Scheduling, News, MTV Docs, Music Marketing and Program Promotions (Music? Oh yeah, music television), Production Events, and the MTV2 P&D departments. The full spectrum of world channels has been axed as well, namely, MTV Desi (aimed at South Asian American viewers), MTV Chi (Chinese Americans), and MTV K (Korean Americans). You would think that attracting new, atypical MTV viewers at this time might be in their best interest, but what do we know. We don't run MTV, we just skewer it.
On March 1, MTV International Networks confirmed that it will be "restructuring" its international operations, which will result in job losses around the 250 employee mark, roughly 8% of its workforce. So, we are back to approximately 500 total job losses again. The "restructuring" will transfer employees from MTV's Latin American office in Miami and Emerging Markets division in London and will cut jobs in Asia. In a statement issued by MTVNI president Bob Bakish, "These changes will position us well for the next phase of our growth -- increasing our operation margins through more efficient corporate structures." The moves are expected to help "build our multiplatform brand portfolios in priority markets and expand growing revenue areas such as ad sales, digital media and consumer products," he added. He then apparently stood on top of his virtual soapbox and shouted flaming buzz phrases like "REFINE BUSINESS AND ORGANIZATIONAL MODELS" and "INFLECTION POINT" and "KEY GROWTH AREAS" and "SHOOT AHEAD OF THE DUCK." Then, in a even more remarkable turn of events, Bakish allegedly broke down weeping and muttering, "We should have bought YouTube... We should have bought YouTube... We should have bought YouTube...."
What does it all mean? Well, some people have lost their jobs at MTV, and the marketing budget for the not-at-all-scripted teen and slow-adult powerhouse The Hills hasn't been dented. Good. If I can't see a Hills commercial every few minutes, then life just ain't worth living. There is always something more important than a few hundred people losing their jobs. Get over it, losers, but keep tuning in to MTV!