Layoff Speculation Hits Paramount Following CEO Memo

Layoffs are apparently in the works at Paramount.

Top line

On Thursday, Paramount CEO Bob Bakish sent an internal memo seemingly announcing cuts, saying a 2024 priority is to drive earnings by growing revenue and closely managing costs.

The memo came amid news that talks have heated up for a Paramount buyer. Bloomberg reported that David Ellison’s Skydance Media is making an offer to the Redstone family for National Amusements, a holding company that directly or indirectly owns 77% of the voting shares of Paramount and also controls CBS.

Between the lines

In the memo, obtained by Adweek, Bakish notes that the balance between revenue growth and managing costs will require “every team, division and brand to be aligned.”

As the company looks to leverage the full power of its portfolio and drive streaming TV profitability, Bakish said Paramount will operate as a “leaner company and spend less.”

The company will also look to expand its shared services model as it tries to “streamline operations.”

“This does mean we will continue to reduce our workforce globally,” Bakish said. “These decisions are never easy but are essential on our path to earnings growth. We will continue to be as thoughtful as we can be, communicate when there is information to share, and support our teams throughout.”

At this time, it’s not known how many cuts are on the way, as Paramount declined to comment.

Despite an offer for Paramount, the potential deal with Skydance Media is reportedly preliminary and could still fall apart.

Rumors around the future of Paramount have been swirling since late last year after a report that Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav and Bakish had met to discuss a possible merger.

Bottom line

The layoff news is the latest to shake the TV and media industry, with experts expecting more consolidation as the year goes on.

In early January, Mike Hopkins, svp at Prime Video and Amazon’s MGM Studios, announced in a memo sent to employees that the company would cut several hundred jobs. In addition, Bloomberg recently reported that Twitch is laying off 500 employees, or about 35% of its staff.


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