Paramount CEO announces layoffs as cost pressures, take-private talks build


Paramount executive Bob Bakish attends the 2022 MTV Europe Music Awards (EMAs) at the PSD Bank Dome in Duesseldorf, Germany, November 13, 2022. 

Thilo Schmuelgen | Reuters

Paramount CEO Bob Bakish announced layoffs at the media company Thursday, citing a need to “operate as a leaner company and spend less.”

“Our priority is to drive earnings growth. And we’ll get there by growing our revenue while closely managing costs — a balance that will require every team, division and brand to be aligned,” Bakish said in a memo to employees.

“Where possible, we’ll look to expand our shared services model as we streamline operations. As it has over the past few years, this does mean we will continue to reduce our workforce globally,” he added.

Paramount did not immediately disclose how many jobs the company would cut. It also plans to reduce international content spending, Bakish said in the memo.

The company reports quarterly earnings at the end of February and plans to elaborate on its 2024 strategy then.

The cuts come as a range of companies in the media industry and beyond announce layoffs while they push to trim costs. The Los Angeles Times, Business Insider and Sports Illustrated, among others, have cut jobs in recent days in a tumultuous stretch for media.

The layoffs also come as David Ellison’s Skydance Media explores a deal to take Paramount private, CNBC reported Wednesday.

Bakish acknowledged challenges facing the company including a soft market, economic volatility and strikes by Hollywood writers and actors that stymied studio production for much of the summer. He appeared to hint at the acquisition rumors swirling around Paramount.

“Amid all this change, it’s no surprise that Paramount remains a topic of speculation. We’re a storied public company in a closely followed industry,” he said. “But I have always believed the best thing we can do is concentrate on what we can control — execution. Leaning into what’s working, while continually adjusting to current realities.”



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