Paramount Quietly Lays off 800 Employees after Boasting of Record-Breaking Super Bowl Ratings

By: Lauren | Published: Feb 25, 2024

Super Bowl LVIII was not only the most-watched Super Bowl of all time, but was also the most-watched program in television history, with 123.4 million viewers across multiple networks, including CBS.

But Paramount Global, which owns the CBS television network, announced just a week after millions of people watched CBS for hours that the company would be laying off 800 employees effective immediately.

Paramount Global Is Truly a Giant Company

Paramount Global is an almost unbelievably large company. The umbrella corporation owns several networks and streaming sites, including Paramount Plus, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, Paramount Pictures, BET Network, and the CBS entertainment group.

Entrance to Paramount Pictures studios

Source: Paramount Studios

All in all, Forbes reports that Paramount Global employs over 24,000 people. Though, as of this week, that number is more like 23,200.

The Big Announcement from Paramount

Paramount’s CEO Bob Bakish released a memo this week that an unknown number of people from almost every faction of the company were being let go.

CEO of Paramount Global, Bob Bakish, smiles for the camera

Source: Paramount

Bakish explained that the decision was made in the hopes of cutting back on costs and improving the future of the company overall. He 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.”

Paramount CEO Mentioned the Super Bowl in the Memo

Additionally, Bakish mentioned the “blockbuster” Super Bowl LVIII, which he said “showcased the full power of Paramount.”

Hundreds of people stand together in a large room to watch the Super Bowl 2024 on TV

Source: Alamy

However, no matter how big it was, no one event could have changed Paramount’s decision. And that decision to lay off 3% of their staff, while they say it’s about bettering the business, is really about saving money.

Is Paramount Running Out of Money?

According to the memo, “Earnings growth is a top priority in 2024. This will require [Paramount] to continue to grow revenue, while reducing costs.” Which might make one wonder: Is Paramount running out of money?

Paramount Studios company logo

Source: YouTube

Variety reports that Paramount Global is currently the “target of potential M&A scenarios,” such as buying out NAI or, on the other hand, Allen Media Group actually purchasing Paramount Global. So far, these are just rumors and do not indicate that Paramount is struggling for cash, but there are other factors that do.

Paramount Global’s Revenue Is Declining Overall

Because Paramount has its toe in so many pools, it can be hard to determine whether its overall profits are increasing or decreasing.

Phone with Paramount+ app open in front of a screen with several icons for movies and TV shows

Source: Shutterstock

According to Variety, revenue from Paramount Plus and other streaming platforms rose by 3%, but linear TV fell 14% over the third quarter of 2023.


Paramount Plus Still Isn’t Making Enough Money to Be Considered Profitable

It’s also important to understand that while streaming profits rose by 3%, Paramount’s services, such as Paramount Plus and Pluto TV, are still not considered profitable.

Woman sitting cross legged on top paperwork with hundreds of dollars in her hands

Source: Freepik

In fact, they lost at least $1 billion last year alone. Some say that their services are simply too expensive, and Paramount continues to spend on new ad content and subscribers. Essentially, the company is just spending more than they’re making.


It’s Not Just Paramount Plus Employees Being Let Go

However, the layoffs Bakish announced in his memo don’t just apply to staff members at Paramount Plus or Pluto TV, but across several of Paramount Global’s subsidiaries.

Businessman who just got fired carrying his belongings out in a box

Source: Freepik

Bakish did not specifically mention the number of people they would be letting go or for which departments of the company they worked for. But thanks to a leak to Deadline, some specifics have been released.


Who Is Being Laid Off at Paramount?

According to Deadline, the senior vice president of development, Kate Gill, vice president of current Julie Katchen, and Cheryl Bosnak, the executive vice president and head of current at Paramount TV Studios, are all being let go.

Nickelodeon animation studio in Burbank, California

Source: Wikipedia

Dominic Pagone, Paramount TV Studios’ senior vice president and head of communications, Paul Gilbert, the senior vice president of international formats at Paramount Global, and Nickelodeon’s head of animation, Liz Paulson, are also done.


Hundreds More Have Already Heard They Lost Their Jobs

Now, almost 800 more people have heard that they have lost their jobs with Paramount Global.

Group of business people meet and greet in a large room

Source: Freepik

However, while hundreds of employees are certainly a lot of people, and it will be life-changing for those terminated, it’s really just a drop in the bucket for Paramount, which employs over 24,000 people.


Paramount Isn’t the Only Mega-Company Making Cuts

While Paramount’s announcement is the most recent, it’s certainly not the only company making serious cuts to staff this year.

Exterior of an Amazon office building

Source: Shutterstock

Amazon has let go of hundreds of employees, Business Insider terminated 8% of its employees, Google lost at least 1,000 workers, and Snapchat fired a whopping 10% of its staff.


What’s Next for Paramount Global?

According to Bakish’s memo, these layoffs “are in no way easy,” but they are “the right decision for [Paramount’s] future.”

Exterior of a Paramount office building

Source: Shutterstock

And while no one knows for sure what’s next for Paramount Global, it seems they are excited, not only by the “blockbuster” Super Bowl on CBS but also for their launch of “a big slate of new and returning primetime programming on CBS.” So, hopefully, things are looking up for the remaining employees.