Paramount Lays Off 800 Days After Super Bowl Ratings Smash

Though Super Bowl LVIII was the most-viewed single broadcast since the 1969 moon landing, the big game’s network is laying off hundreds of employees just days after the smash ratings success.

Paramount, the parent company of CBS, Nickelodeon, MTV, and more, is laying off 3% of its global workforce (roughly 800 employees) to “return the company to earnings growth,” as streaming platforms continue to dominate entertainment programming.

The employees will be cut across all divisions, including CBS, Paramount Pictures, Paramount+, and Nickelodeon — all of which streamed Super Bowl LVIII.

Related: Warner Bros. and Paramount Just Met to Discuss a Possible Mega Merger

Employees found out about the cuts via an internal memo from Paramount CEO Bob Bakish, which was obtained by the New York Times.

“While I realize these changes are in no way easy, as I said last month, I am confident this is the right decision for our future,” Bakish wrote. “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.”

U.S. employees who were terminated were informed by the end of the day yesterday though international employees may find out in the coming days due to different legalities in each country.

Bob Bakish, president and chief executive officer of Paramount Global, attends the Allen & Co. Media and Technology Conference in Sun Valley, Idaho, US, on Tuesday, July 11, 2023. David Paul Morris/Bloomberg | Getty Images

He also noted that Sunday’s big game was a “blockbuster event” for the company that “showcased the full power of Paramount,” despite months of rumored acquisition bids and a reported potential merger with Warner Bros. Discovery.

“To those with whom we are parting ways, we are incredibly grateful for your hard work and dedication,” Bakish wrote. “Your talents have helped us advance our mission of unleashing the power of content around the world. We are a better company because of you.”

Paramount had a strong Q3 of 2023, with revenue growing 38% year-over-year. Paramount+ added 2.7 million subscribers that quarter. Overall profit also rose, from $295 million compared to $231 million at the same time last year.

Related: ViacomCBS, Now Paramount, Overhauls Its Streaming Strategy

“We continue to execute our strategy and prioritize prudent investment in streaming while maximizing the earnings of our traditional business,” Bakish said in an earnings release at the time. “Looking ahead, we remain on the path to achieving significant total company earnings growth in 2024.”

Paramount is expected to report Q4 2023 earnings on February 28.

The media company was down just over 41% year over year as of Wednesday afternoon.

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