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Paramount Global lays off about 800 employees, a day after announcing record Super Bowl ratings

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Paramount executive Bob Bakish attends the 2022 MTV Europe Music Awards (EMAs) at the PSD Bank Dome in Duesseldorf, Germany, November 13, 2022. 
Thilo Schmuelgen | Reuters

Paramount Global is laying off hundreds of employees, just one day after the company announced CBS had record Super Bowl viewership, Chief Executive Officer Bob Bakish said Tuesday in an internal memo to employees.

Paramount will lay off about 800 people, or an estimated 3% of its workforce, according to a person familiar with the matter. Paramount Global ended 2022 with about 24,500 full-time and part-time employees.

Affected workers will be notified Tuesday, Bakish said in the note.

“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 note.

Paramount shares fell about 4% in morning trading Tuesday.

Deadline first reported the number of cuts in January.

Paramount Global owns a variety of assets including CBS, Paramount Pictures, Pluto TV, Paramount+ and cable networks including Nickelodeon, BET and Comedy Central. The job cuts come as the media company considers merger and acquisition options. Paramount Global has held early merger talks with Skydance Media and Warner Bros. Discovery in recent months, CNBC has previously reported.

The media company had warned employees of impending cuts in a Jan. 25 internal memo. Bakish said at the time that Paramount Global needs to “operate as a leaner company and spend less.”

Its Paramount+ streaming service continues to lose money each quarter. The platform lost $238 million in the third quarter. The company reports fourth-quarter earnings Feb. 28.

Blowout Super Bowl

Super Bowl 58 on CBS was the most-watched television show in history, with an estimated 123.4 million people having watched across all platforms.

CBS charged a record high average $6.5 million for every 30-second advertisement for the Super Bowl, according to the research company Guideline.

The network earned tens of millions in additional revenue because the game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers went into overtime.

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