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Paramount Global Announces Layoffs

Paramount Global has initiated a planned series of layoffs, notifying employees in the United States that those affected will receive notices by the end of Tuesday.

According to an internal memo from CEO Bob Bakish, the exact number of layoffs was not disclosed. However, an estimate by a source familiar with the situation puts the total around 800, consistent with a previous report from Deadline. Bakish had previously acknowledged the impending layoffs during a "Bob Live" town hall event in January. Further details about the extent and specifics of the staff reductions are expected to emerge throughout the day.

As of December 31, 2022, Paramount employed approximately 24,500 individuals worldwide, both full-time and part-time, across 37 countries. Additionally, the company had roughly 5,800 project-based staff members on its payroll.

Similar to other players in the media industry, Paramount has faced challenges stemming from a decline in advertising revenue and the ongoing shift from traditional TV to streaming platforms. The company is set to announce its fourth-quarter earnings at the end of February.

This news comes shortly after Paramount's recent success with the broadcast of Super Bowl LVIII, which broke records as the most-viewed telecast of all time, reaching 123.4 million viewers across CBS, Paramount+, Nickelodeon, and Univision.

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In his memo, CEO Bob Bakish expressed gratitude to departing employees for their contributions and emphasized the company's commitment to its strategic vision despite the difficult decision to reduce staff. Reports speculate about Paramount's future as a standalone entity, with various parties expressing interest in potential acquisitions. Notably, Apollo Global Management recently withdrew from consideration after initially exploring an offer for National Amusements and its controlling stake in Paramount.

Here's the full memo:

Team, 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. Best, Bob

The layoffs at Paramount underscore broader shifts within the media industry and raise questions about the company's future direction. As employees and industry observers absorb this news, attention will likely turn to Paramount's next steps and the implications for its workforce and business strategy.

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