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Amid possible sale, Paramount weighs layoffs early next year

Job cuts have already come to CBS owned-and-operated stations over the past few weeks, according to a source, and further cuts could be coming in 2024.

Job cuts have already come to CBS owned-and-operated stations over the past few weeks, according to a source, and further cuts could be coming in 2024.

The front of the Paramount Pictures studios in Los Angeles, California. (Stock image by Hannah Wernecke via Unsplash)
The front of the Paramount Pictures studios in Los Angeles, California. (Stock image by Hannah Wernecke via Unsplash)

Paramount Global could issue sweeping layoffs that would impact more than 1,000 workers at the media venture, according to a report.

Late Monday evening, the Wall Street Journal said the pink slips could come early next year as Paramount works to bring down costs and address ongoing weaknesses in its advertising business.

The Journal did not say which divisions could see layoffs, but The Desk has received information that pink slips have been issued at local CBS television stations over the past few weeks. More job cuts could come to other parts of CBS television, including CBS News and CBS Sports, one source said.

The Journal said the job losses are expected to help Paramount make good on a promise delivered to investors that the company would have positive earnings growth next year. To accomplish this, Paramount has already implemented numerous layoffs in its general entertainment divisions, impacting workers at MTV, Nickelodeon, Showtime and other TV brands.

The layoffs come as Paramount is currently weighing a possible sale of some or all of its media business, a move that could include the CBS broadcast network, local stations and cable networks. Over the weekend, financial news outlet Bloomberg said Paramount had approached Hollywood producer David Ellison and RedBird Capital Partners about acquiring a controlling stake in the TV business, which could be valued as high as $13.5 billion.

Shari Redstone, the current owner of Paramount through her family’s National Amusements business, would likely continue to operate Paramount Pictures if she sells the non-core TV business, Bloomberg suggested. Paramount Pictures is worth around $19 billion, Bloomberg said.

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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).