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'Local' strategy: MTV shuts Singapore HQ

MTV Networks' Asia headquarters at Singapore is being disbanded, reports Gurbir Singh.

india Updated: Oct 13, 2006 21:10 IST

MTV Networks' Asia headquarters at Singapore is being disbanded as the broadcaster has pitched for a more local strategy for the region.

This has made a large number of jobs redundant and a company spokesperson said as many as 84 of the employees in Singapore have been asked to leave.

The cutback includes the recently appointed Nigel Robbins stepping down as MTV Network's Asia president. Steven Tan, Executive VP and COO, will be holding operations till a successor is found. Employees in Singapore were informed of the redundancies on Wednesday.

"The new structure will see regional functions and corporate roles decentralized from Singapore in order to shirt the focus of resources to local markets and fully empower local operations," said a company statement.

Reading between the lines, this implies a shift of power to local country heads and a locally devised market strategy in preference over the old centralized system where a single command HQ in Singapore devised strategy for the whole Asia Pacific region.

In the new dispensation the Singapore office will continue as the administrative centre for MTV and Nick's south east Asia operations only.

William Roedy, President—MTV Networks International euphemistically laid out the changeover: "The distinct market dynamics in Asia demand that our local teams are fully resourced to drive our TC and digital media businesses to the next stage of growth."

Slow advertising revenue growth in the markets that matter and bloated centralized operation in Singapore are possible factors for the surgical administrative measures towards more localized brand-building. For instance, in India the kids channel Nick has not yet taken off.

MTV Networks Asia Pacific, part of the international Viacom media conglomerate, oversees the operation of 22 television networks and programming blocks, seventeen websites, and various Asia-specific digital media platforms.