Paramount’s Board Will Reportedly Fire Its CEO on Monday





Yesterday, The Wall Street Journal reported that Paramount could have a new CEO as soon as its board is looking at removing Bob Bakish from his leadership role and replacing it with a committee of top executives to run the company on an interim basis. Now CNBC says that Pramount will announce the change in leadership on Monday morning before its earnings call.

According to the Wall Street Journal if he is removed, current executives inside Paramount would reportedly make up a committee to oversee the company’s operations. This could see people like Tom Ryan, who leads all streaming for Paramount, have a bigger say in the day-to-day operations. Many though questions the wisdom of having a committee replace the CEO just as negotiations for a possible merger or sale is underway.

Over the last month, news has been flying that Paramount is getting closer to a deal to be sold to or merge with Skydance. This comes as, for months now, Paramount has been in talks with multiple companies for a potential sale or merger. This includes talks with Warner Bros. Discovery, Apollo Global Management, and others. Some of these talks have gone well others like Warner Bros. Discovery have walked away from a possible merger with Paramount. There even have been reports that Sony has been looking at putting in a offer with Apollo.

This all comes as yesterday CNBC reported a deal is close that would see Paramount merge with Skydance but Spectrum Cable TV could be an issue. Paramount has until April 30 to reach a deal with Spectrum to keep its channels on the cable TV network. According to CNBC Spectrum could be a tough deal to reach. This comes as Spectrum was willing to walk away from Disney last year just as football season started.

Apparently, Skydance is watching the talks closely, and they could have a major impact on the merger.

Earlier this month Variety reported that Paramount Global has turned down an offer to sell itself to Apollo Global Management for $27 billion. This offer was reportedly made over the weekend as a cash deal, but Shari Redstone, the majority owner of Paramount, declined to entertain the bid.

Exact details of the offer have not been disclosed but it is reported that the Redstone family who owns a majority of Paramount are perfering this Skydance deal over other offers.

The New York Times reportedly this month that Paramount and Skydance Media are working on a deal to give Skydance a 30-day window for exclusive talks as the two sides try to finalize a deal. Exclusive windows like this are common in talks like this. Well, it does not guarantee that a deal will happen typically, windows like this happen when both sides think a deal is very possible.

Currently, Paramount Global is controlled by media executive Shari Redstone. Redstone also controls National Amusements, which owns 77% of Paramount’s voting shares. Reportedly, the Redstone family is also looking to sell their 77% ownership of Paramount. With that ownership, the Redstone family needs to be on board with any deal, and it has been reported that they are more interested in a deal like this than other deals, like the offer from Appollo Global Management to buy just the studios.

Any merger seems to need to be for the full Paramount company to include its cable TV networks, which include Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, MTV, and multiple movie theaters.

Talks between Paramount and Skydance have reportedly been happening since November 2023.

The news comes as the entertainment industry faces difficult times with cable TV viewership is declining and a majority of streamers struggling to achieve profitability. Paramount’s streaming service, Paramount+, is among the companies fighting to stay afloat.

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