Discovery Nets US laid off about 24 employees Thurs, primarily in its marketing and new media divisions, according to a memo sent to employees from Discovery Nets chief Billy Campbell and obtained by CableFAX. The layoffs are part of an effort to streamline operations for future growth, with Campbell stressing that Discovery Nets US would be "headcount positive" for the year with plans to add about 40 new positions, primarily in programming development, sales and research. Discovery Comm as a whole expects to add 300 jobs in ’05. "Our departing staff members have been conscientious professionals, who have made significant contributions to this company, and we recognize their efforts and owe them a debt of gratitude," Campbell said. Among those laid off was Bill Allman, svp and gm, interactive div. Another dozen or so vacant positions will not be filled. — In a move unrelated to the layoffs, TLC GM Roger Marmet resigned Thurs, with Discovery citing the all-too familiar "creative differences" as the motive behind his departure. Campbell "appreciates Roger’s contributions … but going forward, he had a different creative direction he wanted to pursue," a spokesman said. Marmet is one of the last GM holdovers from pre-Campbell days (he was TLC’s interim gm when Campbell came aboard in the fall of ’02). TLC, once a ratings darling, has seen numbers spiral downward as signature series "Trading Spaces" has waned in popularity. Earlier this week, the net let go of show host Paige Davis and said it wanted to take it in a new creative direction. Marmet promised during TLC’s TCA presentation this month that revisions would be made to the net’s makeover genre. It wasn’t clear whether he knew he’d be part of them.

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