Jun 4, 2024 - Business

Paramount mulls streaming joint venture, job cuts as merger talks loom


Illustration: Natalie Peeples/Axios

Paramount's trio of co-CEOs laid out a transformation plan for the company Tuesday that includes exploring a joint venture or long-term strategic partnership to grow Paramount+.

Why it matters: Paramount's plans come as it nears a merger with Skydance Media and as its streaming business remains unprofitable, with analysts saying it lacks the scale necessary to compete.

The big picture: The changes, laid out at the company's annual meeting, are part of a broader effort to streamline the business.

  • The plan is to focus on making the company more nimble and efficient by clamping down on noncontent-related costs.
  • More cost-cutting measures are expected to follow after the initial near-term changes.
  • The management team identified $500 million in near-term cost reductions, including job cuts.

Zoom in: The CEOs laid out a plan to bolster revenue by licensing more of Paramount's content to other platforms.

  • The company also plans to divest some of its businesses to help pay down its debt.

Zoom out: The "Office of the CEO" team was named in April after longtime CEO Bob Bakish stepped down following reports of his resistance to the Skydance deal.

What to watch: Skydance submitted a revised offer for Paramount that includes the option for some nonvoting shareholders to cash out at $15 per share.

  • That offer has been approved by Paramount's board and now sits in controlling shareholder Shari Redstone's hands.

Editor's note: This story has been corrected to reflect that Bob Bakish stepped down and the new leadership team was named in April (not May).

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