Tom Hayden resigns as President of Smithsonian Networks Amide Entertainment and Youth Group Integration ViacomCBS Layoffs – Deadline

Tom Hayden resigns as President of Smithsonian Networks Amide Entertainment and Youth Group Integration ViacomCBS Layoffs - Deadline

A rough day passed through the cable networks of ViacomCBS in a new wave of later mergers and a reorganization of CBS-Viacom. The highest profile departures were in the Entertainment & Youth division, which is experiencing the final stage of its integration.

As part of that, Tom Hayden, President of Smithsonian Networks, will leave at the end of next month after a transition period. He joins Sarah Babineau, Head of Comedy Central Content and Creative Enterprise, who will be leaving at the end of the year.

She is among a plethora of executives who are being released at Comedy Central, whose scripted team has been wiped out, according to sources. I hear that includes departures Monika Zielinska, SVP ,, Original Programming and Development, West Coast; Anne Harris, SVP, Talent and Development, and Tara Schuster, VP, Talent and Development.

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It’s part of a post-ViacomCBS fusion mismatch happening through Entertainment & Youth’s unit today, with Pop and the Smithsonian Channel reportedly hit hard, and MTV and Lego also had an impact, including a number of MTV News staff who were left today. No one would comment, but a floating number indicates that about 100 people may have been affected.

In an internal memo, Chris McCarthy, president of ViacomCBS’s Entertainment and Youth division, addressed the layoffs and restructurings, noting that the “changes were driven by two factors: Switching from cable to content, which is the center of everything we do and Moving from strong silk brands to a powerful entertainment portfolio. “

The integration to which McCarthy refers involves uniting and merging into a single organizational structure the four marked groups within the Entertainment & Youth unit: music (MTV, VH1, CMT & Logo), entertainment (Comedy Central, Paramount Network TV Line), with Pop and the Smithsonian Channel, which cables Showtime Networks after the merger, as separate entities. As Hayden leaves, for now indications that Pop TV president Bradley Schwartz remains.

Hayden joined Showtime Networks in 1989. In 2006, he was given the task of launching and developing the Smithsonian Channel, a joint venture between Showtime Networks and the Smithsonian Institution, which he launched in 2007.

Here is McCarthy’s self:


Now I’m sure you’ve heard, today we took the final step of merging our four brand groups into one united creative organization.

To that end, we have made the extremely difficult decision to distribute ways with staff across our teams. These changes were driven by two factors:

    • Switching from cable to content is the center of everything we do
    • Moving from strong sleek brands to a powerful recreational portfolio

We have not come to these decisions quickly or easily, but rather after a careful process over the past few months. This new structure will take advantage of our full scale and shared expertise. More to show that in the next few days.

As much as these changes are necessary, I know they’re not easy for anyone – they shouldn’t be. We are not only saying goodbye to work colleagues, but to our friends and family.

Please join me in thanking those who are leaving and express our gratitude for their many contributions.

With gratitude


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