Paramount cuts 800 staff
February 13, 2024
Paramount has commenced layoffs with US-based employees affected by the cutbacks set to be notified immediately.
A memo from CEO Bob Bakish did not disclose numbers, but Deadline reports an estimated 800 staff will be axed. Bakish had confirmed the planned cutbacks at a Bob Live town hall event in January. At the end of 2022 Paramount had 24,500 full- and part-time employees in 37 countries, with about 5,800 project-based staff on its payroll.
The news comes after the high point on February 11th with the CBS broadcast of Super Bowl LVIII setting an audience record, attracting over 123 million US viewers across CBS, Paramount+, Nickelodeon and Univision.
Bakish wrote to those being cut: “Your talents have helped us advance our mission of unleashing the power of content around the world… While I realise these changes are in no way easy, as I said last month, I am confident this is the right decision for our future. These adjustments will help enable us to build on our momentum and execute our strategic vision for the year ahead – and I firmly believe we have much to be excited about.”
There is much speculation Paramount won’t survive as a stand-alone entity, indeed it is effectively shopping itself around. Formed by the merger of CBS and Viacom and controlled by Shari Redstone’s National Amusements, Paramount has drawn interest from Byron Allen and David Ellison’s Skydance Media, along with numerous private equity firms.
Bakish’s full memo as reported in Deadline:
As we shared at Bob Live in January, returning our company to earnings growth is a top priority in 2024.
This will require us to continue to grow revenue, while reducing costs. And unfortunately, part of streamlining costs means that today, we will begin the difficult process of saying goodbye to some of our very valued colleagues across Paramount.
We will be notifying impacted employees who are based in the US by the close of business today.
We’ll share details directly regarding next steps and will do all we can to support you during this time of transition.
There will also be impacts in some of our offices based outside the US. Those notifications will occur over time in line with our local legal obligations in each of the countries where we operate.
To those with whom we are parting ways, we are incredibly grateful for your hard work and dedication. Your talents have helped us advance our mission of unleashing the power of content around the world.
We are a better company because of you.
While I realise these changes are in no way easy, as I said last month, I am confident this is the right decision for our future. These adjustments will help enable us to build on our momentum and execute our strategic vision for the year ahead – and I firmly believe we have much to be excited about.
We are coming off of a blockbuster event with Super Bowl LVIII that showcased the full power of Paramount. We’re launching a big slate of new and returning primetime programming on CBS, and last night marked the return of Jon Stewart to The Daily Show. We continue to release films, like Bob Marley: One Love this week, which reinforce our heritage as one of Hollywood’s most iconic movie studios. And we’re coming together as One Paramount more than ever, with continued commitment to our values, culture imperatives and fostering an inclusive workplace.
We should all take time this week to support one another – our colleagues who will be impacted, as well as our teams remaining – in adjusting to this change. Speaking personally, I want our entire team to know that I am committed to sharing updates when we’re able to.
As always, I am continually grateful for your commitment to our company. And I’m confident we will navigate this transition and emerge stronger than ever.