Paramount leadership team to announce job cuts, streaming JV plans at annual meeting

A view of Paramount Studios’s water tank as SAG-AFTRA members walk the picket line outside during their ongoing strike, in Los Angeles, California, U.S., September 26, 2023. 

Mario Anzuoni | Reuters

The current leadership of Paramount Global is gearing up to present a plan at the company’s annual shareholder meeting Tuesday in the event a sale of the company doesn’t happen, according to a person familiar with the matter.

CBS CEO George Cheeks, Paramount Media Networks CEO Chris McCarthy, and Paramount Pictures CEO Brian Robbins — collectively the company’s “Office of the CEO” — will present Paramount’s go-forward plan. The trio will lay out strategic priorities, including exploring streaming joint venture opportunities with other media companies, eliminating $500 million in costs, and divesting non-core assets, the person said, who asked not to be named because the details are private.

The presentation comes at an awkward time. Earlier this week Paramount agreed to the framework of merger terms with a consortium comprised of David Ellison’s Skydance Media and private equity firms RedBird Capital and KKR, CNBC reported Monday. The deal is still awaiting approval of Paramount’s controlling shareholder, Shari Redstone, who owns National Amusements, which owns 77% of class A Paramount shares.

Redstone has been supportive of the “Office of the CEO” leadership team that has run the company since former CEO Bob Bakish stepped down in late April.

The plan that Paramount Global shareholders will hear on Tuesday will essentially serve as Redstone’s alternate option if she chooses not to sell.

Paramount plans to tell investors they’ve received inbound interest to establish a streaming joint venture that would include the company’s flagship service, Paramount+, which has more than 70 million subscribers but continues to lose money.

The strategies are being mapped out with an eye toward lowering Paramount’s debt and getting the company back to an investment grade rating. Earlier this year the company’s credit rating with S&P Global Ratings was cut to junk status.

This story is developing. Please check back for updates.

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