Paramount CEO Bob Bakish’s 2024 Goals Suggest Layoffs and Possible Merger

Paramount is the latest in the media and tech industry to announce layoffs in 2024.

Robert Bakish, President of Paramount Global
Bob Bakish said he will issue layoffs at Paramount in new memo. Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

In an internal memo yesterday (Jan 25.), Paramount (PARA) Global CEO Bob Bakish outlined his strategy for the entertainment giant in the new year, which suggests job cuts are coming to the company’s approximately 24,500 employees. Bakish laid out three goals: maximizing content, driving to streaming profitability, and unlocking the power of “One Paramount”—or strengthening the company internally through more collaborations across sectors. 

Bakish said in his memo the company will have to “manage costs” in order to “drive earnings growth.” “As it has over the past few years, this does mean we will continue to reduce our workforce globally,” the CEO said. “These decisions are never easy, but are essential on our path to earnings growth.” 

Paramount, which is owned by National Amusements, is over $15 billion in debt. Last year, it laid off 25 percent of its U.S. staff in its division of Showtime/MTV Entertainment Studios and Paramount Media Networks, and shuttered Showtime Sports and MTV News. The company has also been unloading assets like its book publisher Simon & Schuster and is looking to sell BET Network. There have been reports of Paramount considering selling itself, too. Skydance Media, the investment firm RedBird Capital and Warner Bros. Discovery have all been floated as possible buyers. 

Bakish seemed to acknowledge merger chatters in yesterday’s memo, though he didn’t share much concrete information. “Amid all this change, it’s no surprise that Paramount remains a topic of speculation. We’re a storied public company in a closely followed industry,” Bakish said. “But I have always believed the best thing we can do is concentrate on what we can control—execution.”

January has been a difficult month for those working in media and tech. The Walt Disney Company (DIS) is looking to cut 20 percent of the staff at its animation studio Pixar, TechCrunch reported earlier this month. Amazon (AMZN) has axed “several hundred” jobs in its streaming and studio units and over 100 staffers in its Audible division. Google (GOOGL) has cut over 1,000 jobs this year so far in addition to the 12,000 it already slashed last year. Sundar Pichai, the CEO of Google and its parent Alphabet, said the company plans to cut more

On the editorial side, the Los Angeles Times and Business Insider both announced mass layoffs this past week. (It was the second round of cuts for Business Insider in less than a year.) Condé Nast-owned Pitchfork, known for its music critique and coverage of the underground music scene, was folded into GQ Magazine last week, also resulting in job cuts.

 

This story was updated to reflect the accurate number of Paramount employees affected by the 2023 layoff. 

Paramount CEO Bob Bakish’s 2024 Goals Suggest Layoffs and Possible Merger