Paramount CEO Bob Bakish of layoffs amid takeover talks

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By Dan Sears

Paramount Global CEO Bob Bakish on Thursday outlined the company’s strategic priorities for the year in a staff memo, even as he acknowledged the media company “remains a topic of speculation.”

Bakish also addressed reports that the company would undergo layoffs, writing that, as it streamlines operations, “we will continue to reduce our workforce globally.” He provided no specifics about the scope or timing of the reductions.

David Ellison has expressed interest in acquiring the Redstone family’s holding company, National Amusements, as a way of gaining control of Paramount Global.

He is exploring combining his film and television studio, Skydance Media, with Paramount.

Neither Ellison nor National Amusements have commented on those reports.

“It’s no surprise that Paramount remains a topic of speculation,” Bakish wrote in the memo seen by Reuters. “We’re a storied public company in a closely followed industry.”


Paramount Global CEO Bob Bakish with actress Lindsay Lohan earlier this month.
Paramount Global CEO Bob Bakish addressed reports that the company would undergo layoffs, writing “we will continue to reduce our workforce globally.” AFP via Getty Images

Bakish did not comment further on possible deal talks, saying the best course of action for the company is to “concentrate on what we can control — execution.”

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The top priority, he wrote, is to drive earnings growth and manage costs.

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

The company will seek to wring the most profit out of these properties by distributing them across multiple platforms, including streaming, film, television and licensing, he said.


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Bakish acknowledged the media company “remains a topic of speculation.” Christopher Sadowski

Bakish said in the memo that the company will continue to push toward profitability with its streaming business, and “lean even further” into large markets like the US, Canada, the U.K. and Australia, where the company has a strong presence and the US studio content “resonates best.”

The CEO said he will continue to encourage greater collaboration across teams, time zones and functions to drive better results.

“In many ways, 2024 will be the next great step in our transformation,” Bakish wrote.

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