Paramount begins global layoffs; CEO Bob Bakish told the departing employees, “Your talents have helped us further our mission.”

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Paramount begins global layoffs;  CEO Bob Bakish told the departing employees, "Your talents have helped us further our mission."

Paramount Global has begun a planned round of layoffs, and told US-based employees that those affected by the cuts will be notified by the end of Tuesday.

An internal memo from CEO Bob Bakish (read it below) did not disclose the numbers. A person familiar with the cuts estimated the total number at 800, which is in line with a Deadline report last month. Bakish confirmed the planned cuts at the “Bob Live” town hall event in January. The scope and details of staff cuts will come into focus during the day.

As of December 31, 2022, Paramount had 24,500 full- and part-time employees in 37 countries around the world, with approximately 5,800 project-based employees on its payroll.

Like its media peers, Paramount has been troubled by a slowdown in advertising and a challenging transition from linear TV to streaming. The company will report fourth-quarter earnings in late February.

Tuesday’s sobering news follows the company’s highest point with Sunday’s broadcast of Super Bowl LVIII. The broadcast set a record for the most viewing ever, with 123.4 million viewers across CBS, Paramount+, Nickelodeon and Univision.

“To those we are parting with, we are incredibly grateful for your hard work and dedication,” Bakish wrote in the memo. “Your talents help us advance our mission of unleashing the power of content around the world.”

He added, “While I realize these changes are by no means easy, as I said last month, I am confident this is the right decision for our future. These adjustments will help us maintain our momentum and enable us to execute our strategic vision for the year ahead – and I firmly believe we have a lot to be excited about.

Reports continue to swirl about Paramount’s future as a stand-alone entity, with several suitors expressing interest in acquiring some or all of the company. Formed by the merger of CBS and Viacom and controlled by Shari Redstone’s National Amusements, Paramount has attracted interest from several private equity firms as well as Byron Allen and David Ellison’s Skydance Media. Apollo Global Management has backed out after initially considering making an offer for its controlling stake in National Amusements and Paar’s voting shares, Deadline reported on Monday.

Here is Bakish’s full memo:

Team,

As we shared on Bob Live in January, returning our company to earnings growth in 2024 is a top priority.

For this we will have to continue increasing revenue while reducing costs. And unfortunately, part of
Cost streamlining means that today, we will begin the difficult process of saying goodbye to some of our most valued colleagues at Paramount.

We will notify affected US-based employees by the close of business today.

We will share details straight away regarding next steps and do everything we can to support you through this time of change.

Some of our offices outside the US will also be impacted. Those notices will occur from time to time in accordance with our local legal obligations in all countries in which we operate.

To those we are apart from, we are incredibly grateful for your hard work and dedication. Your talent helps us advance our mission of unleashing the power of content around the world.

We are a better company because of you.

Although I realize that these changes are by no means easy, as I said last month, I am confident that this is the right
Decisions for our future. These adjustments will help us maintain our momentum and enable us to execute our strategic vision for the year ahead – and I firmly believe we have a lot to be excited about.

We’re coming off a blockbuster event with Super Bowl LVIII that demonstrated full force
most important. We’re launching a big slate of new and returning primetime programming on CBS, and last night saw the return of Jon Stewart to The Daily Show. We continue to release films like Bob Marley: One Love this week, cementing our legacy as one of Hollywood’s most prestigious film studios. And we are coming together as one more than ever, with an ongoing commitment to our values, culture imperatives and fostering an inclusive workplace.

This week we should all take time to support each other – our colleagues who will be affected, as well as the rest of our teams – in adjusting to this change. Speaking personally, I want our entire team to know that I am committed to sharing updates whenever we are able.

As always, I am continually grateful for your commitment to our company. And I am confident that we will overcome this transition and emerge stronger than ever.

Best,
BOB

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