One-quarter of the U.S. staff at Chris McCarthy’s Showtime/MTV Entertainment Studios/Paramount Media Networks Group has been laid off, IndieWire has learned.
The majority of the layoffs come at the networks end — rather than the studio side — due to the prior larger-scale consolidation: McCarthy’s group previously combined nine networks as part of a reorg. Some units there, mostly in operations, we’re told, are being shut down entirely. One of the casualties will be the long-running MTV News, which has been scaling back for years now.
In a note sent to staffers and obtained by IndieWire, McCarthy said that despite “success” at streaming, the group continues to “feel pressure from broader economic headwinds like many of our peers.” A struggling advertising market and dwindling linear-television subscribers are certainly chief among those.
The greater Paramount Global company is coming off a rough first quarter — the publicly traded company missed Wall Street’s financial forecasts and has already recognized about $1.7 billion in costs from combining Paramount+ and Showtime.
“As a result, we have made the very hard but necessary decision to reduce our domestic team by approximately 25%,” he wrote to employees. “Through the elimination of some units and by streamlining others, we will be able to reduce costs and create a more effective approach to our business as we move forward.”
Employees whose positions have been eliminated were notified today; you can read McCarthy’s note in its entirety below.
As we finalize the integration of SHOWTIME and continue to transform our business for the future, we have set a great foundation for continued success by consolidating our group into two functions:
This combination has resulted in an incredible track record of hits including “Yellowstone,” “1883,” “Tulsa King,” “South Park,” “The Challenge,” “Teen Wolf,” “1923,” “Drag Race,” “Mayor of Kingstown,” “Your Honor,” “George & Tammy” and “Yellowjackets” – which, taken together, drove record subscribers across Paramount+ and Showtime and helped Paramount+ lead the industry in new subscriber growth.
However, despite this success in streaming, we continue to feel pressure from broader economic headwinds like many of our peers. To address this, our senior leaders in coordination with HR have been working together over the past few months to determine the optimal organization for the current and future needs of our business.
As a result, we have made the very hard but necessary decision to reduce our domestic team by approximately 25%. This is a tough yet important strategic realignment of our group. Through the elimination of some units and by streamlining others, we will be able to reduce costs and create a more effective approach to our business as we move forward. Today we will notify employees whose positions are being impacted with leaders communicating the news directly to those teams/or individuals. These meetings will be followed by individual 1:1s with our HR partners.
I realize these decisions will be very hard for everyone, most of all, those who will be leaving. It’s not something we take lightly. We have some of the most passionate and dedicated team members, who bring their full selves to drive our brands and business forward. This is why it’s so difficult to say goodbye to our friends and colleagues. To those impacted, we deeply appreciate the passion and creativity you have brought every day. I want to thank you for your many contributions.
Our leadership team and HR partners are committed to ensuring this process is done with empathy and respect.