Viacom announces layoffs, $785 million in expenses amid restructuring

Media giant Viacom is announcing a round of layoffs and restructuring that will result in $785 million in special expenses to be booked in its recently ended quarter.

The charge will result from a mix of write-downs of underperforming TV shows and the abandonment of shows that it bought, as well as severance costs.

A Viacom spokesman declined to say how many people would be laid off.

After the one-time pretax charge, the company, which runs TV networks including Comedy Central, VH1 and MTV, expects to save about $350 million a year.

New York-based Viacom Inc. also says it will suspend its stock buyback program for now.