The disruption of large-scale brain networks is increasingly recognised as a consequence of neurodegenerative dementias. We assessed adults with behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia and progressive supranuclear palsy using magnetoencephalography during an auditory oddball paradigm. Network connectivity among bilateral temporal, frontal and parietal sources was examined using dynamic causal modelling. We found evidence for a systematic change in effective connectivity in both diseases. Compared with healthy subjects, who had focal modulation of intrahemispheric frontal-temporal connections, the patient groups showed abnormally extensive and inefficient networks. The changes in connectivity were accompanied by impaired responses of the auditory cortex to unexpected deviant tones (MMNm), despite normal responses to standard stimuli. Together, these results suggest that neurodegeneration in two distinct clinical syndromes with overlapping profiles of prefrontal atrophy, causes a similar pattern of reorganisation of large-scale networks. We discuss this network reorganisation in the context of other focal brain disorders and the specific vulnerability of functional brain networks to neurodegenerative disease. © 2013 The Authors.