Paramount hit with layoffs in Viacom restructuring

Paramount Pictures lays off as many as 40 people amid restructuring at parent company Viacom

Amid the broader restructuring at its parent company Viacom Inc., Paramount Pictures has been hit with layoffs.

The Melrose Avenue movie studio laid off as many as 40 workers Wednesday, according to a person close to the company.

Viacom's cost-cutting has already resulted in layoffs in the company's advertising sales division and its TV Land and MTV cable channels. At least 20 people were let go at TV Land last week. 

Executives at Viacom had warned of the downsizing more than a month ago in the face of lower ratings and changing viewing habits, especially among younger audiences. 

Viacom Chief Executive Philippe Dauman said this week at the Deutsche Bank Media, Internet & Telecom Conference that the company's wide restructuring would save a total of $250 million a year and that the cutbacks would be largely completed by the end of this month. 

A Paramount Pictures spokesperson said the job cuts at the studio "are designed to realign resources and create efficiencies in line with the evolving business environment."

The entertainment industry website Deadline first reported the Paramount layoffs. 

Follow Ryan Faughnder on Twitter for more entertainment business coverage: @rfaughnder

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