Updated with more details and names: In the latest wave of layoffs in the industry, Showtime/MTV Entertainment Studios as well as Paramount Media Networks, which is overseen by Division President and CEO Chris McCarthy, has cut its home team by 25% today. McCarthy addressed the cuts, which he called “a very difficult but necessary decision,” in the company memo. (You can read it in full below.)
According to sources, the underlying cable networks have been severely affected, as a number of units have been closed as part of the consolidation, mostly from the operations side.
MTV News, the news production division of MTV, which launched in the late 1980s, also folded. The unit has already undergone significant downsizing over the past six years. MTV News employees took to social media to share news of the layoff.
Senior executives affected include Jessica Zalkind, Senior Vice President, Talent Development & Series, MTV Networks, and Todd Radnitz, Senior Vice President, Unscripted Original Series at MTV Entertainment Group and Paramount+, we hear. The east coast casting process is folded into the west coast process.
Showtime/MTV Entertainment Studios is largely bailed out this time around, you hear, after being hit hard in February when the studios merged, with Showtime shouldering the bulk of the cuts.
“This is a difficult but important strategic adjustment for our group,” McCarthy said. “By eliminating some units and streamlining others, we will be able to reduce costs and create a more efficient approach to our business as we move forward.”
Here is his full note:
With the completion of the SHOWTIME incorporation and continuing to transform our business for the future, we have laid a great foundation for continued success by consolidating our group into two functions:
• Studios – Merging SHOWTIME and MTV Entertainment Studios into one powerful studio team
• Networking – Consolidate nine separate teams into a single portfolio group
This combination has resulted in a track record of hits including Yellowstone, 1883, Tulsa King, South Park, The Challenge, Teen Wolf, 1923, Drag Race, Mayor of Kingstown, Honor Your, George and Tammy Willow Jackets – which together, drew a record number of of subscribers across Paramount+ and Showtime and helped Paramount+ lead the industry in new subscriber growth.
However, despite this streaming success, we continue to feel pressure from broader economic headwinds as do many of our peers. To address this, our senior leaders in coordination with Human Resources have worked together over the past several months to determine the optimal organization for the current and future needs of our business.
As a result, we have made the very difficult but necessary decision to reduce our home team by approximately 25%. This is a difficult but important strategic adjustment for our group. By eliminating some units and streamlining others, we will be able to reduce costs and create a more efficient approach to our business as we move forward. Today, we will notify impacted employees that leaders deliver the news directly to those teams/or individuals. These meetings will be followed by one-on-one meetings with our HR partners.
I understand that these decisions will be very difficult for everyone, and most of all, those who are leaving. It’s not something we take lightly. We have some of the most passionate and dedicated team members, who go out of their way to drive our brands and business forward. This is why it is so difficult to say goodbye to our friends and colleagues. For those affected, we deeply appreciate the passion and creativity you bring each day. I want to thank you for your many contributions.
Our Leadership Team and HR Partners are committed to ensuring that this process is conducted with empathy and respect.
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