'Jersey Shore' departure hurts Viacom's pockets

The media company suffers from the loss of the hit show as well as waning viewership at kids' network Nickelodeon.

By Aimee Picchi Feb 1, 2013 2:29PM

Credit: MTV Networks
Caption: Cast of 'Jersey Shore'Viacom (VIA) is waking up from a "Jersey Shore" hangover. After six seasons of the hit MTV show, Viacom in December said goodbye to Snooki, Pauly D and the rest of the cast -- as well as the show's lucrative advertising dollars.

The impact of the show's departure is one of many issues that will weigh down Viacom's revenue growth this quarter, according to the Wall Street Journal. Advertising sales growth will be "very close to being flat" in the current quarter, chief executive Philippe Dauman said during the company's conference call on Thursday. 

Still that would mark an improvement from the quarter ended Dec. 31, when ad sales dipped 6%. Overall revenue fell 16%, hurt by weak results in its movie unit, while net income doubled because of a one-time item that had crimped the year-earlier results. 

"Jersey Shore" was "a game-changing look for MTV, but it also precipitated an overemphasis on one night," Dauman said on the conference call.

Viacom is looking to revive its cable networks' ratings with all young audiences, ranging from preschoolers to college kids.   

On the MTV front, Dauman highlighted the new show "Buckwild," about a group of young West Virginians that's been described as "Jackass" crossed with "Jersey Shore." 

Viacom's also suffering from problems at Nickelodeon, which Dauman specifically called out on the call with investors and analysts. 

Nickelodeon has suffered from viewership losses since 2011, although ratings declines have improved recently, the Journal notes. The network is investing in new content such as its new take on "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" and the animated series "Peter Rabbit."

The children's network, Dauman noted, is hitting "the generational reset button."

More on moneyNOW

Feb 2, 2013 12:30PM
Jon_83, if you're seriously using tv, much less MTV, to teach your family about morals and values, you are a complete du*chebag ......
Feb 1, 2013 3:23PM
wow - always about growth and dollars, never about family morals & values.
way to go viacom - betcha you'd sell your mother out if it were for a rating...
dchbag mther fckers!

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