Paramount Global shutting down MTV News, cutting 25% of staff from TV networks
CEO Chris McCarthy informed his division of Paramount Global on Tuesday that 25% of staff will be let go, and certain units like MTV News will be shut down altogether.
McCarthy’s division is comprised of newly conjoined Showtime/MTV Entertainment Studios as well as Paramount Media Networks. The majority of cuts are expected to occur in the networks sector, reports The Hollywood Reporter.
McCarthy says the division will now be split into two functions, “studios” and “networks,” which will merge nine separate teams into one portfolio.
The combination with Showtime “has resulted in an incredible track record of hits,” McCarthy said in a memo to staff, mentioning successes like “Yellowstone,” “The Challenge,” “Your Honor” and “Yellowjackets.”
“However, despite this success in streaming, we continue to feel pressure from broader economic headwinds like many of our peers,” he added.
The decision comes roughly half a year after Showtime’s leader David Nevins stepped down, and other top execs, including Showtime president Jana Winograde, followed earlier this year.
Since then, McCarthy has been busy finding a new strategy to rework Showtime’s brand. He’s now focused on three specifics in programming: diverse cultures, antiheroes, and high-stakes worlds. The projects that don’t fit neatly into one of those categories are shelved or sold elsewhere.
According to the McCarthy, the strategy has provided clarity for the company and led to “a way higher hit ratio.”
Despite this, Paramount Global shared dismal quarterly earnings last week, including an 11 percent dip in TV ad revenue.
Paramount CEO Bob Bakish told investors that the company is “navigating a challenging and uncertain macroeconomic environment, and you see the impact of that on our financials, as the combination of peak streaming investment intersects with cyclical ad softness.”
But hard times are being felt across the industry. Warner Bros. Discovery announced a series of layoffs in addition to a corporate reorganization last year, while Disney is in the midst of instituting 7,000 layoffs across the company.