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Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Paramount Global slashing 800 jobs amid takeover talks, record Super Bowl: report

Paramount Global is laying off about 800 employees or roughly 3% of its workforce, a person familiar with the matter said Tuesday, as the media company looks to cut costs and return to earnings growth this year.

The affected workers who are based in the United States will be notified Tuesday, CEO Bob Bakish said in a memo to employees seen by Reuters, adding that the layoffs will also impact some of its employees in offices outside the US.

The media industry has been grappling with the changing landscape of streaming gaining dominance over traditional television and the impact of the Hollywood strikes last year. A soft advertising market and economic uncertainties have added to the pressure.

“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,” Bakish wrote in the memo.

Shares of Paramount, which declined to comment on the job cuts, were down more than 4% on the Nasdaq.

Paramount CEO Bob Bakish
Bakish had said in January the company would let go of an unspecified number of employees. Getty Images for Paramount Pictures

Bakish had said in January the company would let go of an unspecified number of employees, citing numerous challenges faced by the entertainment industry.

Paramount will focus its resources on its “most powerful, resonant franchises, films and series” and produce fewer local, international originals, Bakish had said.

The studio is home to film franchises such as “Top Gun” and “Mission: Impossible,” as well as the hit television show “Yellowstone.”

Tom Cruise in "Top Gun: Maverick"
The studio is home to film franchises such as “Top Gun” and “Mission: Impossible.” Scott Garfield

Overall, more than 34,000 workers have been let go from 141 tech companies worldwide so far this year, according to tracking website Layoffs.fyi. Major media outlets, including the Los Angeles Times and the Business Insider, have also cut jobs.

Reuters reported in January citing a source that Skydance Media CEO David Ellison was exploring an all-cash bid to acquire Paramount Global’s parent National Amusements.

The layoffs come a day after Paramount’s CBS broadcast network said the Super Bowl drew a record audience of 123.4 million viewers across TV and streaming platforms, according to preliminary Nielsen ratings.

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