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Pop TV Hit With Layoffs Amid Integration Into ViacomCBS Group

The Wrap Friday, 28 February 2020
Pop TV Hit With Layoffs Amid Integration Into ViacomCBS GroupPop TV has been hit with layoffs amid ongoing integration into the channel’s parent company, ViacomCBS. It is currently unclear how many employees have been impacted by the cuts.

Brad Schwartz, president of the “Schitt’s Creek” network, broke the news in a memo to staff Friday, which was obtained by TheWrap. In the letter, Schwartz noted that he and Chris McCarthy, the head of ViacomCBS’ Entertainment and Youth division, are both remaining in their respective posts.

“Before joining ViacomCBS, we operated as a standalone company and we were therefore staffed accordingly,” Schwartz wrote. “As we integrate Pop into the larger ViacomCBS Entertainment & Youth Group, filled with some of the most powerful brands in the industry, a lot of the work is being centralized across the portfolio to truly unleash our collective strengths and maximize the power of our content.”

*Also Read:* ViacomCBS Moves Pop TV Under Chris McCarthy, Brad Schwartz to Remain President

He added: “To that end, Pop will continue to be an important part of the business but, unfortunately, we are saying goodbye to some close friends and talented colleagues.”

A representative for the cable channel did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment on how many employees are being laid off.

Last month, ViacomCBS shuffled oversight of Pop TV and MMA outfit, Bellator, with Pop moving under Chris McCarthy, while Bellator — which produces MMA events and manages a roster of fighters — now overseen by president of Showtime Sports, Stephen Espinoza.

*Also Read:* Pop TV Plots Post-'Schitt's Creek' Future: Comedy With 'Heart' Not 'Snark,' Brad Schwartz Says

In November, McCarthy gained oversight of TV Land, Paramount Network and Smithsonian Channel and was named president of entertainment and youth brands. McCarthy also oversees MTV, VH1, CMT and Logo. Brad Schwartz will remain as Pop TV president.

See Schwartz’ memo to staff below.



Hi everyone,

Before joining ViacomCBS, we operated as a standalone company and we were therefore staffed accordingly. As we integrate Pop into the larger ViacomCBS Entertainment & Youth Group, filled with some of the most powerful brands in the industry, a lot of the work is being centralized across the portfolio to truly unleash our collective strengths and maximize the power of our content.

To that end, Pop will continue to be an important part of the business but, unfortunately, we are saying goodbye to some close friends and talented colleagues.

We have built something very special that you should all be immensely proud of. We did the impossible. In less than five years, we went from being a TV Guide Network with a listing scroll still on 30% of our screens, to an Emmy-nominated network with a million+ viewer hit, a breakthrough brand, and two of the most critically praised and culturally-significant shows on television.

Moving forward, I’ll continue to run Pop and work alongside Chris as part of the Entertainment & Youth senior leadership team across the brands.

I thank you dearly for the heart and soul you have brought to everything we do.

With sincere thanks, respect and appreciation,

Brad



More to come…

*Related stories from TheWrap:*

ViacomCBS Moves Pop TV Under Chris McCarthy, Brad Schwartz to Remain President

Pop TV Plots Post-'Schitt's Creek' Future: Comedy With 'Heart' Not 'Snark,' Brad Schwartz Says
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