The shakeups at Showtime continue. Showtime’s staff is being merged into its sister brand MTV Entertainment Studios, leaving nearly 120 Showtime staffers laid off in the transition, an individual with knowledge told IndieWire. Further, a number of the premium cable network’s veteran execs are exiting their current roles.
It’s unclear what departments are being impacted as part of the cuts, but Variety, which first reported the news, notes the layoffs could impact roughly 25 percent of Showtime’s staff.
New Showtime boss Chris McCarthy first announced in a memo to staff Monday morning that co-president Gary Levine would transition to an advisor role at what is now “Paramount+ with Showtime,” while co-president Jana Winograde is exiting her role. And in a follow-up note that mapped out the new organizational structure at the merged Showtime and MTV, McCarthy announced that four other executives would be departing.
Levine has been with Showtime for 22 years overseeing original programming and will now report directly to McCarthy. Winograde, who has been with Showtime for six years, oversaw business affairs, production, operations, and casting. All of her responsibilities are being integrated and centralized into Paramount+. The other execs leaving are Michael Crotty, Paramount Global Premium Group CFO and COO, Vinnie Malhotra, SVP of docs, unscripted and sports programming, Rob Rosenberg, creative director global brand and originals at Paramount International, and Kent Sevener, Showtime’s EVP of content acquisition.
Other execs will be expanding their purview under the combined model, including Nina L. Diaz being named Chief Creative Officer and President of Content. She will report to McCarthy. You can see all the other changes spelled out below.
The exits are the latest in a series of overhauls as Showtime is integrated into Paramount+, which could be a precursor for the end of the linear Showtime network altogether (for the time being, you’ll get to see some Paramount+ originals on the linear channel). The streamer is heavily focusing on franchises in the “Yellowstone” model as part of its new branding, which means spinoffs of “Billions” and another “Dexter” prequel series. That’s also meant Showtime has dumped some of its series that don’t fit neatly into specific buckets, including the nearly finished “Three Women” with Shailene Woodley and shipping off the in-development “Ripley” to Netflix (although Showtime did pick up “Uncoupled” from Netflix for its second season).
Paramount Global head Bob Bakish recently described the merger of Showtime and Paramount+ in a note to staff (obtained by IndieWire) as “the first of its kind to integrate streaming and linear content in this way.”
“This new combined offering demonstrates how we can leverage our entire collection of content to drive deeper connections with consumers and greater value for our distribution partners,” he wrote. “This change will also drive stronger alignment across our domestic and international Paramount+ offerings, as international Paramount+ already includes Showtime content. And, very importantly, this integration will unlock operational efficiencies and financial benefits across our broader portfolio.”
Check out McCarthy’s two full memos below:
As we continue to integrate SHOWTIME across the organization partnering with Tom Ryan and his team in streaming, I’m excited to share that we’re combining SHOWTIME and MTV Entertainment Studios into one unified leadership team. Together, these creative powerhouses make some of the biggest hits in TV: From Yellowstone to Yellowjackets, Dexter to The Daily Show, Billions to Beavis, The Chi to The Challenge, Jersey Shore to Tulsa King, Drag Race to The Department, Love and Hip Hop to Your Honor, plus Emily in Paris, South Park and Mayor of Kingstown, to name just a few.
Additionally, below you will also find the leadership team for our new unified group as well as the key SHOWTIME executives.
Everyone listed reports to me except where noted.
Please join me in congratulating these seasoned and exceptional leaders with whom I’m privileged to work alongside as we maximize our full creative potential and harness our creative strengths.
Creative Leadership – SHOWTIME/MTV Entertainment Studios
Nina L. Diaz – Nina will expand her role as Chief Creative Officer & President of Content
Keith Cox – Keith will expand his role as President of Scripted, reporting to Nina
Amy Israel – Amy will continue in her role as EVP for SHOWTIME Original Scripted, reporting to Nina
Trevor Rose – Trevor will expand his role as EVP/Head of Talent and Casting, reporting to Nina
Keri Flint – Keri will expand her role as EVP/Head of Production, reporting to Nina and Keyes
Michael Elias – Michael will take on a new role as EVP/Head of Scripted Production, reporting to Keri
Please note, Unscripted content will be managed by the existing Unscripted leadership team under Nina.
SHOWTIME – Executives
Gary Levine – As announced earlier, Gary will be Senior Creative Advisor for SHOWTIME
Virginia Lazalde McPherson – Virginia will be taking on a new role as EVP/Head of Strategy & Business Operations, serving as my deputy for all things SHOWTIME
Amy Britt – Amy will continue her role as EVP Talent & Casting for SHOWTIME reporting to Gary and Trevor
Tracey Wolfson – Tracey will continue in her role as SVP, Program Operations and Global Distribution, reporting to Keyes
Ken Kay – Ken will continue in his role as EVP of Distribution for SHOWTIME, reporting to Ray Hopkins
Stephen Espinoza – Stephen will continue in his role as President of Sports, moving over to CBS Sports reporting to David Berson, President of CBS Sports
Michael Engleman – Michael will continue in his role as Chief Marketing Officer
Kim Lemon – Kim will continue in his role as EVP/Head of Insights & Prog., reporting to Colleen and me
Group Leadership – Paramount Media Networks and SHOWTIME/MTV Entertainment Studios
Keyes Hill-Edgar – Keyes will expand his role as Chief Operating Officer
Barbara Zaneri – Barb will expand her role as Chief Programming Acquisitions Officer for Paramount Global, taking on day to day responsibilities for SHOWTIME
Laurel Weir – Laurel will continue in her role as EVP/Head of Prog. & Insights, reporting to Colleen and me
Ericka Wright-Tomlinson – Ericka will expand her role as SVP/Head of HR, reporting to Whitney Delich, EVP HR
Jeannie Scalzo – Jeannie will expand her role as EVP of Brand Partnerships across the Group
Lance McPherson – Lance will expand his role as EVP, Deputy GC and Business & Legal Affairs, reporting to Seth Levin, EVP and Deputy GC for Paramount Media Networks and will continue to partner with Keyes
Liza Burnett Fefferman – Liza will expand her role as EVP/Head of Comms. & Co-Head, MTV Doc Films w/Nina
Amy Campbell – Amy will continue in her role as Chief Marketing Officer
Candice Brancazio – Candice will expand her role as CFO, partnering w/Keyes & reporting to Bryon Rubin, CFO of TV Media
Kelly Bradshaw – Kelly will continue in her role as SVP/Head of International Markets, reporting to Pam and me
Additionally, Bruce Gillmer will continue to oversee all music across the company inclusive of Showtime in his role as President of Music and Tentpole Events continuing to report to Bob. No changes to Nickelodeon Networks and, as previously announced, Erin Calhoun has expanded her role as EVP Comms. for Paramount/Showtime Streaming & Cross-Co. Publicity, reporting to Tom Ryan & Justin Dini, Head of Comms. Erin will continue to partner with Liza and me on the content we create for streaming.
With this new structure, we will be saying goodbye to several colleagues and friends who have been vital in making SHOWTIME what is today including from the executive team: Michael Crotty, Vinnie Malhotra, Rob Rosenberg, Kent Sevener and, as announced earlier today, Jana Winograde. Please join me in thanking them for their invaluable contributions and wishing them the best in their next endeavors.
I would like to provide you with an update regarding our Co-Presidents of Entertainment at SHOWTIME, Gary Levine, and Jana Winograde.
Gary approached me because after more than 22 years of overseeing all of the original programming at SHOWTIME, he was ready to use his formidable creative skills in a more focused way. I am very pleased to say that Gary will be taking on a new role as Senior Creative Advisor for SHOWTIME, reporting to me. Gary has been the creative force for nearly two decades at SHOWTIME, helping to give birth and sustain the quality of some of TV’s most iconic series, including DEXTER, BILLIONS, THE CHI, HOMELAND, THE L WORD, NURSE JACKIE, CALIFORNICATION, SHAMELESS, WEEDS, YELLOWJACKETS, YOUR HONOR and so many others, which is why I am thrilled he will be here for the next chapter of SHOWTIME.
Gary’s interests are many, including his devotion to theater and his moonlighting as a cantor at his synagogue. His office doesn’t display many items, but they are clearly cherished ones – including a shovel from his former colleagues at ABC that is engraved with one of Gary’s phrases “Let’s Dig In.” As anyone who has worked with Gary will tell you, he is incredibly personable – but when it comes to the work he wants to cut to the chase and “dig in.” I am delighted that he will now be able to dig in, in a more focused way, on several key shows and franchises, while continuing to advise me and the leaders of Showtime.
Gary’s contributions to SHOWTIME might surpass those of anyone in the history of the network. He has left his undeniable mark, and I am so happy he will be here as we create the next generation of programming.
With the integration of SHOWTIME across the company, many of the current functions that Jana oversees including business affairs, production, operations, and casting are being centralized and therefore, Jana will be leaving.
In her six years here, Jana has been a passionate advocate for SHOWTIME. Her talented and steady leadership helped to evolve the business and our partnerships with our creative community. Along with Gary and the creative teams, Jana has been instrumental in launching many of our biggest wins, including the acclaimed recent series, DEXTER: NEW BLOOD, YELLOWJACKETS and YOUR HONOR.
Not only has Jana has been a deft steward of the SHOWTIME brand, her strategic acumen has boosted the network’s profile domestically and around the world. Perhaps most of all, it’s clear how much Jana dedicated herself to the SHOWTIME family, mentoring junior staff members and maintaining an open-door policy for colleagues at all levels. Without a doubt, she has been a supportive and motivating force for everyone at SHOWTIME.
On a personal level, I am especially grateful for Jana’s thoughtful and passionate partnership over the last few months. Jana has been pivotal in positioning SHOWTIME to continue to thrive as a brand, studio and streaming service.
I will be providing an update soon about a new, unified leadership structure for our organization. In the meantime, please join me in congratulating Gary on his new role and thanking Jana for her many contributions and wishing her continued success for years to come.
Winograde also shared a note with the team upon her exit Monday.
As most of you know, after an amazing six years, I will be leaving Showtime. When I came to Showtime after 23 years at ABC, it was hard to imagine feeling the same sense of commitment, passion and belonging at another company. But the culture of collaboration, hard work and inspired creativity was contagious, and that, coupled with the opportunity to play a key role in the transformation of our business model, have made my years at Showtime some of the best of my career.
Perhaps most exciting has been the opportunity David Nevins and Showtime gave me to spread my creative wings. As President of Entertainment, I’ve transitioned from a business executive with a keen curiosity about the creative process into one who’s been integrally involved with the development and production of groundbreaking, bold programming. I could not have asked for a better partner than Gary Levine, and working with him and our entire creative team was a master class in premium content. Showtime’s commitment to the highest level of excellence is unsurpassed and this company’s unique culture encouraged us to take risks, whether with new voices, bold visionaries or diverse story telling. We were successful as a business, we made groundbreaking entertainment, and we had a great time doing it!
I know that when I reflect on my years at Showtime, I’ll forever be proud of the stories we told and the ways in which we told them, and I’ll be indebted to everyone from whom I’ve learned so much. But, most of all, I’ll be thankful to have worked with the incredible people who built the game-changer that is Showtime. You are not only the best team in the business, but the best people.
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