Paramount Global announced this Tuesday that it will lay off 800 workers. The company's CEO, Bob Bakish, announced the layoffs in a memo sent to employees. He claimed that the company needs to "reduce costs" and has to cut about 3% of their total workforce:
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.
The exact number was not announced in the memo, however, sources close to Bakish told Variety that 800 jobs would be cut at CBS, Paramount Pictures, Paramount+, PlutoTV and Showtime in addition to television networks such as Comedy Central, Nickelodeon and MTV. All affected employees in the United States will be notified throughout the day on Tuesday. Bakish said employees in other countries will also be affected.
Paramount Global's transformation
The layoffs come amid a series of Paramount merger attempts with other major media outlets. The first of them, announced at the end of 2023, was with Warner Bros. Ultimately, that deal did not go through. On January 31 it was announced that Byron Allen, owner of The Weather Channel, offered to buy the company for $30 billion.
The news comes on the same day that the Super Bowl audience data was published. The game had the largest telecast since man walked on the Moon. This did not go unnoticed. Bakish shared the news in his memo along with other company successes:
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.
However, the good news is not enough to save Paramount Global's profits. The company recalled that despite growing 3% thanks to its streaming and film businesses, it lost about 8% on linear television, affecting its bottom line.