Where Paramount Made Cuts In Its Latest Round of Layoffs

Paramount let go the entire staff of Noggin and 20 employees at CBS News.

Paramount Global CEO Bob Bakish
Paramount Global CEO Bob Bakish speaks at the Velocity Showcase at the MTV Europe Music Awards 2022 held on November 12, 2022. Andreas Rentz/MTV/Getty Images for MTV

Paramount (PARA) Global’s latest round of layoffs included the entire staff of  Nickelodeon’s subscription-based streaming platform Noggin, the trade publication Kidscreen reported yesterday (Feb. 15). And as a result, the children-focused streamer is shutting down. 

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Noggin’s programming includes long- and short-from video content for young children, as well as games and books. According to Kidscreen, the video programming will be shifted under Nick Jr., a channel that many of Noggin’s shows, like Blue’s Clues and Dora the Explorer, originally came from. 

Paramount on Tuesday (Feb. 13) announced plans to cut headcount across its operations. Though CEO Bob Bakish did not disclose the number of employees to be affected. Multiple outlets reported the media giant is looking to cut about 800 staffers, or 3 percent of its total workforce. Bakish said in a memo he was confident he made “the right decision” for the company’s future. 

Paramount declined to comment on which departments were affected by the latest round of layoffs. According to Deadline, which first reported that layoffs were on the horizon in January, all of Paramount’s divisions were hit by Tuesday’s announcement. CBS News let go 20 staffers, including top correspondents, according to Variety. 

Leadership shakeups this week shed some light on which parts of Paramount may have been affected. Several executives from Paramount TV Studios, as well as Nickelodeon, CBS, Showtime and Paramount Global’s international distribution divisions left this week, according to Deadline. 

It’s unclear exactly how many employees worked for Noggin. Its LinkedIn page shows between 50 and 200 staffers and freelancers worked for the streaming platform. 

Paramount shuttered a number of teams last year. The company cut 25 percent of its U.S. staff across Showtime/MTV Entertainment Studios and Paramount Media Networks in early 2023. It then shut down MTV News and Showtime Sports.

Possible merging of Paramount+ with another streamer

There have been talks about the prospect of Paramount selling itself and merging its streaming service, Paramount+, with a bigger player. In December, the company reportedly was exploring a combination between Paramount+ and Apple TV+. Today, the Wall Street Journal reported Comcast (CMCSA)’s Peacock is interested in a similar deal.  

A bundle between Paramount+ and Peacock could also provide a strong sports offering. Peacock’s subscriber growth has been impressive over the last year. Analysts estimate Peacock might have added almost 3 million subscribers in one weekend through hosting the NFL’s AFC Wild Card playoff in January.

Peacock is also set to stream the Olympics through NBC Sports this year. Last week, Paramount exclusively broadcasted the Super Bowl through its linear CBS channel and Paramount+. The telecast reached a record high viewership of 123 million. 

Where Paramount Made Cuts In Its Latest Round of Layoffs