Paramount executives are considering cutting hundreds of jobs in February as the media company is at a crossroads. This comes as reports from The Wall Street Journal wanted that layoffs would be coming in early 2024, and now Deadline says that layoffs have dropped from over 1,000 employees to hundreds but will be happening soon.
According to the report, Paramount managers across the company have been given targets for their layoffs. These layoffs should be coming in February 2024.
The move comes as Shari Redstone, whose National Amusements owns roughly 80% of the voting share in Paramount, is reportedly discussing selling their control of Paramount at auction.
Paramount faces a myriad of challenges going into 2024. The company is aiming to get back to positive earnings growth in 2024, but is under pressure thanks to a still-weak ad market and continued losses in its streaming ambitions. In the third quarter alone, Paramount+ posted an operating loss of $238 million. The service is also still far smaller than the market leaders, with even its free, ad-supported service, Pluto, attracting more viewers.
A factor in this is whether Redstone wants to continue owning Paramount or pursue other interests, according to the WSJ.
The WSJ report also notes that it has carriage deals that are expiring soon including Charter’s Spectrum ending in the spring. Charter’s carriage deal with Disney, struck this summer, led to the removal of eight channels and the addition of Disney+ bundled for free for some subscribers. Recently, Paramount reached a deal with Comcast to keep its networks on Xfinity TV.
2024 could see further changes for Paramount, with the potential for the company to break into different parts, with the cable network, stations, Pluto and Paramount+ separating from the movie and TV production studios.
A Paramount spokesperson was not available for comment at the time of this posting.