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Paramount lays off workers in Australia, New Zealand

The pink slips went out ahead of the media brand's launch of free streaming platform Pluto TV in those countries.

The pink slips went out ahead of the media brand's launch of free streaming platform Pluto TV in those countries.

Liz Baldwin, the former head of streaming at Paramount Australia and New Zealand, appears in an undated photograph. (Photo courtesy Network Ten, Graphic by The Desk)

The head of Paramount Global’s streaming endeavors in Australia and New Zealand has left the company ahead of the planned launch of Pluto TV in those countries, The Desk has learned.

The departure of Liz Baldwin, the former senior executive in charge of Paramount’s streaming in Australia and New Zealand, comes amid a wave of layoffs at various Parmount-owned properties in those countries, including free broadcaster Network Ten.

The exact number of people who received pink slips this week was not immediately available. A Paramount Global spokesperson has not yet returned a request for comment.

Baldwin’s departure will see Beverly McGarvey promoted to head of Paramount Plus in Australia and New Zealand. McGarvey will also oversee Pluto TV’s launch in those countries over the next few weeks. Some of Pluto TV’s free, ad-supported streaming channels are already available in 10Play, a standalone streaming app powered by Network Ten.

Jarrodd Villani, the company’s chief operating officer in Australia and New Zealand, will also be promoted to a senior role with a focus on Paramount’s broadcast and cable network properties in that region. His exact title was not immediately known.

It is at least the second time in two months that Paramount has restructured part of its company with a rally around its streaming efforts. Late last month, The Desk reported Paramount had issued pink slips to some executives, creative workers and marketing staff at its domestic operation. The bulk of the pink slips were issued to workers connected to its children’s cable network, Nickelodeon.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is the publisher of The Desk and reports on the business and policy matters involving the broadcast television, streaming video and radio industries. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, Disney-ABC, Tribune Broadcasting and McNaughton Newspapers. Matthew is based in Northern California, has won numerous awards in the field of journalism, and is a member of IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors).