The cuts keep coming.
Chris McCarthybar of Paramount Global Today is laying off 25 percent of its domestic team. The reduction comes on the heels of integrating show time Within its cable and streaming verticals, that will be consolidated into two operations going forward. There are “Studios”, which now combine Showtime with MTV Entertainment Studios, and “Networks”, which will combine the nine separate teams into one portfolio group. Most of the cuts are being felt by the latter group, with some units including MTV News being shut down entirely. Paramount Global to have 24,500 employees across the company by the end of 2022.
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“This combination has resulted in an incredible track record of hits,” McCarthy noted in a memo to staff, before tossing away successes such as Yellowstone, The Challenge, Your Honor, George and Tammy And yellow jacket, “However, despite this success in streaming, we, like many of our peers, continue to feel the pressure of macroeconomic headwinds.”
While the scale may be staggering, another round of layoffs was inevitable given both the degree of consolidation and the broader health of the market. Cut comes after about half a year Showtime's longtime leader David Nevins was shown the door, along with other top executives including Showtime President Jana Winograd, earlier this year. McCarthy has been busy re-imagining the Showtime brand in his absence, increasingly focusing on three buckets of programming: diverse cultures, anti-heroes and high-stakes worlds. Projects that don't fit squarely into those buckets are weeded out and sold elsewhere wherever possible. As McCarthy sees it, it's a way of providing clarity and as he recently pointed out hollywood reporter, “Kind of high hit ratio.”
Recently, parent company Paramount Global posted disappointing quarterly earningsCiting things like an 11 percent drop in TV advertising revenue. CEO Bob Bakish said in a call with investors that the company is “navigating a challenging and uncertain macroeconomic environment, and you see the impact of that on our financials, as peak streaming investments combine with cyclical advertising softening.” “
To be sure, Paramount is hardly alone in its bloodlust. For example, Warner Bros. Discovery completed a corporate reorg last year along with a series of layoffs, while Disney is still in the midst of cutting 7,000 positions across the company.
Here's McCarthy's full memo to the staff:
As we finalize the integration of Showtime and continue to transform our business for the future, we've laid a great foundation for continued success by consolidating our group across two functions:
However, despite this success in streaming, we, like many of our peers, continue to feel the pressure of macroeconomic headwinds. To address this, our senior leaders, in coordination with HR, have been working closely over the past few months to determine the optimal organization for the current and future needs of our business.
As a result, we have made the difficult but necessary decision to reduce our domestic team by approximately 25%. This is a difficult but important strategic restructuring of our group. By eliminating some units and streamlining others, we will be able to reduce costs and create a more efficient approach to our business going forward. Today we will notify employees whose positions are affected and leaders are sending news directly to those teams/or individuals. These meetings will be followed by individual 1:1's with our HR partners.
I realize that these decisions will be very difficult for everyone, especially those who will be leaving. This is not something we take lightly. We have some of the most passionate and dedicated team members who give their all to take our brand and business forward. This is why it is so difficult to say goodbye to our friends and colleagues. To those affected, we deeply appreciate the passion and creativity you bring to every day. I want to thank you for your many contributions.
Our leadership team and HR partners are committed to ensuring this process is handled with compassion and respect.
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