Paramount Slashes 800 Jobs Despite Super Bowl Success

Paramount Slashes 800 Jobs Despite Super Bowl Success

Published: February 14, 2024

Paramount Global, the parent company of CBS and Nickelodeon, as well as a slew of popular networks and streaming platforms, announced on Tuesday a planned workforce reduction impacting approximately 800 employees.

The layoffs come just two days after CBS broadcasted Super Bowl LVIII, which made television history as the most-watched show of all time with 123.4 million viewers.

Employees learned about the layoffs, which account for roughly 3% of the media and entertainment giant’s global headcount, through a memo from Paramount CEO Bob Bakish.

“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,” Bakish wrote in the memo obtained by CNN.

The company, which boasts film franchises like "Top Gun" and "Mission: Impossible," has recently emphasized its strategic shift towards prioritizing global blockbuster content and potentially streamlining less successful local productions.

Senior Reporters Included in Layoffs

According to CNN's report, CBS News senior investigative correspondent Catherine Herridge and chief national affairs and justice correspondent Jeff Pegues were included in the workforce reduction.

This received negative reactions from Herridge’s fans, with many finding it suspicious that Herridge was fired just hours after she reported on how U.S. President Joe Biden “retained sensitive documents related to specific countries involving his family’s foreign business dealings.”

Many posted their support for the award-winning reporter on X and condemned CBS News for the firing. Herridge joined CBS News in 2019 after a lengthy career with Fox News.

Herridge being laid off coincides with an ongoing legal battle stemming from her time at Fox, where she faces a First Amendment lawsuit for refusing to disclose sources for stories she reported in 2017.

As of today, neither Herridge nor Pegues have publicly commented on their departure from CBS News. The network also remains silent on details about its workforce reduction.

While the circumstances surrounding Herridge and Pegues' termination remain unclear, these changes reflect the wider challenges faced by the media industry, grappling with evolving consumer preferences and the meteoric rise of streaming services.

Last week, Warner Music Group also announced a 10% workforce reduction to fuel music investment over the next decade.

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