LOS ANGELES, Dec. 5 (UPI) -- Viacom is laying off 850 staff members, including about 500 MTV Networks employees, the U.S. entertainment industry trade newspaper Variety said.
Sources said the layoffs will mainly hit those in the Music/Logo/Films Group run by Van Toffler. However, some Paramount Pictures employees are also expected to be laid off, while Paramount Vantage, the studio's arthouse film division that has produced acclaimed works such as "Babel," "No Country for Old Men" and "There Will Be Blood," is being almost entirely shuttered.
"Like all other divisions of the company, Paramount too is adapting to the changing conditions and, as a result, we will reduce our global workforce," Paramount Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Brad Grey said in a memo circulated to staff. "These reductions are across the studio: accounting, business/legal affairs, corporate and government affairs, home entertainment, human resources, information technology, production, studio lot operations and (Paramount) Vantage."
NBC Universal is also laying off about 500 people worldwide, with every division -- including broadcast, cable, syndication, features and parks -- impacted, Variety said.