Paramount Global CEO Bob Bakish has outlined plans to cut the entertainment company’s workforce and to reduce the amount of international original programming it produces.
In a memo to staff, Bakish said the entertainment industry has been confronted by numerous challenges, including a soft ad market, Hollywood strikes and a volatile macroeconomic environment, all while navigating the transition to streaming.
He said that the priority for Paramount in 2024 is to drive earnings growth. “We’ll get there by growing our revenue while closely managing costs,” he wrote.
Bakish outlined “key strategies” for achieving this including maximising content with the biggest impact and driving streaming to profitability.
Parmount Global is home to film franchises as Top Gun and Mission: Impossible, as well as the hit television show Yellowstone. It is also the parent company of UK broadcaster Channel 5, streamer Paramount + and AVOD platform Pluto.
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“It’s become very clear that our Hollywood hits are the biggest draw. So, in 2024, we’re focusing our resources on the most powerful, resonant franchises, films and series that perform across platforms globally,” wrote Bakish.
As a result, he said that Paramount will produce fewer local, international originals for its platforms, apart from for free-to-air networks in Australia, Argentina, Chile and the UK, “where we will continue to have a strong pipeline of local content.”
To boost streaming profitability, Bakish said Paramount would “lean even further into large markets like the US, UK, Canada, and Australia, where we have a strong multiplatform presence, our US studio content resonates best, and where there is the greatest revenue potential. In other important markets across Europe, Latin America and Asia, we will continue our market-by-market strategy and tap into the power of our strong local partnerships, ensuring we’re operating with the best model to drive local scale and viewership, while managing costs.”
He added that the strategy meant Paramount Global “will continue to reduce” its workforce globally.
“These decisions are never easy, but are essential on our path to earnings growth,” wrote Bakish.