Our friends at Gawker got their hands on MTV President Christina Norman’s post-layoffs memo, in which she outlines strategies for the network’s outlets in this new, leaner era. Highlights: TRL isn’t going anywhere, although it will “operate more efficiently downstairs”; the MTV News and MTV Online News departments have been consolidated; and MTV2, despite having its operations combined with MTV, will remain “packed 24 hours a day with the music and shows that its young male viewers love.” What that means for you: Those 3 a.m. blocks of videos that your TiVo picks up every so often will still be there, at least for now.
The full memo after the jump.
As all of you know by now, MTV, along with several of our other MTV Networks brands, have made some organizational changes this week. It’s never easy to make changes that result in good people leaving, and I want to let everyone know that none of these decisions were made hastily. These tough choices have been made in order to align our business priorities with our organizational resources, streamline and consolidate some areas within our structure and allow us to invest more assets in key growth areas. And while I know that these past few days have been personally hard for all of us, I also know that MTV still holds a unique place in the lives of young people everywhere. Across all our screens, we are creating places where young people are inspired and entertained. That’s been our mission since day one and it’s what all of you, with your passion and dedication, make happen every day.
Because there have been a lot of rumors and speculation, I wanted you to hear from me directly about the changes at our brand.
We’ve decided to consolidate the operations of MTV2 within MTV, and many of the hard-working production and development people of MTV2 will be leaving the organization. The MTV2 that you all know and love will still be there – packed 24 hours a day with the music and shows that its young male viewers love. I’m proud of all that the MTV2 team has contributed to its creative and ratings successes. They are leaving behind a great legacy and we are eternally grateful to them.
There has never been a more passionate team than those at MTV World. Unfortunately, the premium distribution model proved more challenging than we anticipated in this competitive environment and we’ve made the incredibly difficult decision to cease operations of the MTV World channels and says goodbye to these dedicated professionals. Creating programming for multi-cultural youth remains a priority for us and are looking for ways to integrate the MTV Desi, Chi and K brands online and on our other screens.
The responsibilities formerly handled by the Music Marketing and Program Promotions departments will be absorbed by a newly streamlined marketing area that consists of the on-air promotions, off and on-air design and online marketing teams. We’re still committed to many of the initiatives this group has built and getting our message to the audience is more important than ever. I know that under the current creative leadership, the department will find new ways to connect with our audience.
We also made the tough decision to streamline our production process as well as personnel in our studio. TRL will air as always – and we’ll continue to bring our audience the celebs they love and special weeks like Spankin New and much more — but we will now operate more efficiently downstairs.
In this fast-paced news environment, it became essential to have the News & News Online teams operate as one team rather than two. This move will more effectively allow our award winning news teams to continue to break and report on music, culture, politics, and hard-hitting issues. Regrettably, the MTV Docs department has also been affected but I know that the incredibly strong team who remain will continue to bring engaging, hit documentary series to MTV.
Unfortunately, we also had to say goodbye to some longstanding colleagues in the Production Events department. The way in which we produce our big events has evolved over the years and this meant that we did not need a full-time production events team, but they will remain on through June to help us make the Movie Awards the fun, dynamic event it has always been.
Our Program Planning & Scheduling team has probably the hardest job of any media company in the industry given that we have so many screens on which we program content. As this department’s job has evolved, we had to take a hard look at how we could operate here more efficiently. We will be working with the Program Planning & Scheduling team to prioritize and assist with this transition and ensure that viewers still get our content everywhere they want it – from MTV to MTV2 to mtvU to to mtv tr3s to mtv.com to MTV Mobile to VOD.
It’s never easy to say goodbye to dedicated and talented people and I encourage you all to reach out and wish them the best in their future endeavors. They contributed so much to MTV and we’re all lucky to have worked with them.
Despite the fact that we’re making reductions in some areas, MTV has much more room to grow as a company and we need to ensure that we’re investing in the areas that afford us the greatest capacity for future growth. So, we will be building resources against some other areas, such as linear programming, our interactive properties and some of our emerging and burgeoning networks like MTV tr3s and mtvU.
I know I couldn’t have possibly answered everyone’s questions in one email, and please know I am looking to schedule some time for all of us to get together as an organization soon, but in the meantime, I hope this helped to address and clarify some of the buzz in the hallways, on the web and in the papers. Should you have immediate issues or questions, always know you can also reach out to your managers as well.
Change is never easy, and I thank you for your patience, kindness and compassion during this time. I need your creativity, passion and innovation more than ever as we embark on the next great era for MTV, representing and reflecting young people. Somewhere, someone is meeting MTV for the first time. Together, let’s redefine what they’ll see.