In an effort to cut costs, Paramount Global is laying off 800 employees, a person with knowledge of the situation told IndieWire.
The publicly traded corporation has been the subject of several different acquisition talks, from Skydance to Byron Allen. The Skydance offer, led by David Ellison and his RedBird backers, is the more likely of the two. It is probable Ellison will acquire control of Paramount through a purchase of Shari Redstone’s National Amusements, Inc., rather than an all-out acquisition of Paramount Global itself. Allen’s proposed plan is to buy the entire company outright and strip it for parts, but his finances don’t seem in order to pull off such a stunt. Still, he put forth a $30 billion offer — its legitimacy is in the eye of the seller.
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Per the New York Times, Redstone in 2023 also discussed a potential deal with Netflix, Apple, and Amazon.
In a Tuesday note to staff (obtained by IndieWire) announcing the job cuts, Paramount Global President Bob Bakish said returning the company to earnings growth is 2024’s “top priority.”
“This will require us to continue to grow revenue, while reducing costs,” he wrote. “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.”
Should Paramount be acquired and Bakish find himself on the other end of a pink slip, he is entitled to a very heavy golden parachute.
For this round, impacted Paramount employees based in the U.S. will be notified by today’s close of business. The international portion will take more time.
Bakish in his email then touted the success of Sunday’s Super Bowl LVIII, Monday evening’s return to “The Daily Show” desk for Jon Stewart, and his high hopes for Paramount Pictures’ upcoming theatrical release “Bob Marley: One Love.”
Read his full note below.
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 U.S. 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 U.S. 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 realize 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.
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