Paramount Division Run By Chris McCarthy Lays Off 25% Of Domestic Staff; MTV News Among Units Shut Down

UPDATED with more detail and names: In the latest wave of industry layoffs, the recently combined Showtime/MTV Entertainment Studios as well as Paramount Media Networks, overseen by the division’s President and CEO Chris McCarthy, is reducing its domestic team by 25% today. McCarthy addressed the cuts, which he called a “very hard but necessary decision”, in a company memo. (You can read it in full below.)

According to sources, the basic cable networks were most heavily impacted, with a number of units being shut down as part of consolidation, mostly on the operations side.

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Also folding is MTV News, the news production division of MTV, which was launched in the late 1980s. The unit already had undergone significant downsizing over the last six years. MTV News staffers took to social media to share the layoff news.

Among the senior-level executives impacted are Jessica Zalkind, SVP, Talent and Series Development, MTV Networks, and Todd Radnitz, SVP of Original Unscripted Series at MTV Entertainment Group and Paramount+, we hear. East Coast casting is being folded into the West Coast operation.

Showtime/MTV Entertainment Studios, has been largely spared this time, I hear, after it was hit hard in February when the two studios were combined, with Showtime taking the brunt of the cuts.

“This is a tough yet important strategic realignment of our group,” McCarthy 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.”

Here is his full note:


As we finalize the integration of SHOWTIME and continue to transform our business for the future, we have set a great foundation for continued success by consolidating our group into two functions:

• Studios – integrating SHOWTIME and MTV Entertainment Studios into one powerful studio team
• Networks – combining nine separate teams into one portfolio group

This combination has resulted in an incredible track record of hits including Yellowstone, 1883, Tulsa King, South Park, The Challenge, Teen Wolf, 1923, Drag Race, Mayor of Kingstown, Your Honor, George & Tammy and Yellowjackets – which, taken together, drove record subscribers across Paramount+ and Showtime and helped Paramount+ lead the industry in new subscriber growth.

However, despite this success in streaming, we continue to feel pressure from broader economic headwinds like many of our peers. To address this, our senior leaders in coordination with HR have been working together over the past few months to determine the optimal organization for the current and future needs of our business.

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. 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. Today we will notify employees whose positions are being impacted with leaders communicating the news directly to those teams/or individuals. These meetings will be followed by individual 1:1s with our HR partners.

I realize these decisions will be very hard for everyone, most of all, those who will be leaving. It’s not something we take lightly. We have some of the most passionate and dedicated team members, who bring their full selves to drive our brands and business forward. This is why it’s so difficult to say goodbye to our friends and colleagues. To those impacted, we deeply appreciate the passion and creativity you have brought every day. 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.


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