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Paramount Global Laying Off 800 Employees as CEO Bakish Cites Need to Cut Costs

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Todd Spangler NY Digital Editor Paramount Global, amid a swirl of M&A discussions, is laying off about 800 employees worldwide — an estimated 3% of its headcount — as it looks to trim costs.

CEO Bob Bakish announced the layoffs in a memo Tuesday to staff that was obtained by Variety. According to the memo, U.S. employees being laid off will be informed by the close of business Tuesday; international staff members will be notified “over time in line with our local legal obligations in each of the countries where we operate.” Bakish’s memo did not specify how many employees of the company are being let go.

But sources confirmed about 800 are getting cut across all divisions of the company, including at CBS, Paramount Pictures, Paramount+, Pluto TV, Showtime and cable networks including Comedy Central, Nickelodeon and MTV.

In the memo, Bakish touted the company’s “blockbuster” Super Bowl LVIII this Sunday — the most-watched telecast in history — which “showcased the full power of Paramount.” The CEO also cited a “big slate of new and returning primetime programming on CBS” and gave a shout-out to Jon Stewart’s return to Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” on Monday (on a weekly basis). “I am confident this is the right decision for our future,” Bakish wrote in the memo. “These adjustments will help enable us to build on our momentum and execute our strategic vision for the year ahead – and I firmly believe we have much to be excited about.” As of the end of 2022, Paramount Global reported 24,500 full-time employees.

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