Paramount Eliminates 25% of Staff at Cable Networks Group, Shuts Down MTV News

MTV iconic image (Image credit: MTV)

Paramount Global, following the combination of its Showtime and MTV Entertainment studios into a single studio and the consolidation of nine cable network teams into a single group, said it is eliminating 25% of the two units’ staff.

Most of the job losses come from the networks group, with some operations being shut down entirely, most notably MTV News. 

MTV News, like MTV, was once a cultural touchstone. There have been recent efforts to revive MTV News, but lately it has been shrinking in staff and relevance as cable viewership erodes.

Last week, Paramount reported earnings that were below Wall Street expectations and announced that it was slashing the dividend it pays shareholders in order to conserve cash is it tries to pivot towards streaming while its cable business erodes. Paramount shares plunged on the news.

In a memo to staff, Chris McCarthy, president and CEO of Showtime/MTV Entertainment Studios & Paramount Media Networks noted that “we continue to feel pressure from broader economic headwinds like many of our peers.”

The Walt Disney Co., for one,  is in the process of laying off 7,000 staffers as part of CEO Bob Iger’s cost-cutting plan.

McCarthy said that “as a result, we have made the very hard but necessary decision to reduce our domestic team by approximately 25%.“

“This is a tough yet important strategic realignment of our group,“ he said. “Through the elimination of some units and by streamlining others, we will be able to reduce costs and create a more effective approach to our business as we move forward.” 

McCarthy said impacted employees would be notified Tuesday by managers, followed by meetings with human resources staffers.

“To those impacted, we deeply appreciate the passion and creativity you have brought every day,“ he said. “I want to thank you for your many contributions. Our leadership team and HR partners are committed to ensuring this process is done with empathy and respect.”

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.