Home Entertainment Paramount Global’s Shari Redstone Thanks Staff In Face of Skydance Takeover

Paramount Global’s Shari Redstone Thanks Staff In Face of Skydance Takeover

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Paramount Global controlling shareholder Shari Redstone, along with the conglom’s co-CEO troika, waved poms poms tonight to staff about the upside to Skydance’s $8 billion takeover of the storied studio, CBS network and Viacom cable networks.

Already, employees are sweating over the looming $500 million in cuts that co-CEOs George Cheeks, Chris McCarthy and Brian Robbins would bring in an effort to create better profit margins. Now, news of tonight’s Skydance deal.

As we saw with the Warner Bros Discovery merger, the arrival of new execs come with their own agendas of fresh mission statements and future exec teams. What’s often not realized by incoming bosses –especially as the Motion Picture side of Paramount has built a kickass feature slate of A Quiet Place: Day One, Transformers One, Smile 2 and Gladiator II this year — is that if it ain’t broke, well then, don’t fix it. Much of Paramount’s pains are the lofty overhead of operating a streaming service, coupled with the challenged linear network space.

Skydance Media‘s David Ellison will be the new Chairman and CEO of the new conglom with former NBCUniversal chief Jeff Shell acting as president after the transaction passes the regulatory process in early 2025.

Redstone praised Skydance in tonight’s memo: “They have a clear strategic vision for the future and the resources to build on Paramount Global’s competitive advantages to drive the Company’s success.” Skydance has been a big co-financier to Paramount’s mega tentpoles Top Gun: Maverick, Star Trek and the Mission: Impossible franchise.

She also thanked staff for building up the entertainment company her father Sumner Redstone created, one in which content is king. “That has never been more important than it is today, when in a cluttered marketplace, we continue to create content that resonates with our consumers, that they continually seek out, and that keeps them wanting more,” she told employees in the note.

“Our success is because of you, what you have done individually, and even more importantly, as a team,” she emphasized.

Despite the 45-day go-shop period, it sounds like Redstone has made up her mind that Paramount Global is Skydance’s to lose: “The agreement we entered into today is subject to closing conditions, and we expect the deal to be completed in the first half of 2025.”

Read Redstone’s note to Paramount Global employees below:

Good evening. Just moments ago, it was announced that we have entered into an agreement under which Skydance Media will acquire National Amusements and merge Skydance’s business with Paramount Global. I wanted to take this opportunity to reach out to you directly not only to share the news, but to express my tremendous gratitude to each and every one of you for what we have been able to accomplish together for the past several decades.

As you know, my father built Viacom and CBS by bringing together a group of the best assets in media, news, and entertainment. While people often debated whether content or distribution ruled the day, my father was governed in all of his decisions by his belief that content was indeed king. That has never been more important than it is today, when in a cluttered marketplace, we continue to create content that resonates with our consumers, that they continually seek out, and that keeps them wanting more. Our success is because of you, what you have done individually, and even more importantly, as a team.

Seeing the way you have come together since we launched Paramount Global has been one of the highlights of my years at this company, and your accomplishments are evident across the business. Paramount+ is among the fastest-growing streaming services with an exceptional range of content appealing to all demographics. CBS has been the #1 broadcast network for 16 years and running, with clear strength across genres. Paramount Pictures has produced eight #1 movies in the past two years alone and continues to create hit after hit. Our linear networks have delivered culture-shaping content that excites audiences, including the launch of the “Taylor Sheridan universe” with Yellowstone on the Paramount Network. And, Pluto TV is today the most widely distributed FAST service.

As all this was accomplished, we remained dedicated to educating and informing ourselves and our audiences in our efforts to fight hate and discrimination, and supporting other important causes in the US and around the world. I am so grateful to all of you for what we have been able to accomplish to make a difference.

Our family has always been committed to continuing my Dad’s legacy and ensuring Paramount’s enduring success. Consistent with that, as the pace of change in the industry has continued to accelerate, it has been our responsibility to work with leadership to make changes in order to maintain our competitive position and fuel growth, thinking of both the near and longer term. Most recently, this led to the appointment of George Cheeks, Chris McCarthy, and Brian Robbins as Co-CEOs, to take the meaningful actions necessary to bolster the Company both operationally and financially. I think we can all agree on their enormous contributions to this company. At the same time, as you know, our Board has focused on ensuring we are pursuing all opportunities to best position the Company for the future and maximize value creation for all shareholders.

As a longtime production partner to Paramount, Skydance is well aware of what we have accomplished over the years and it is for that reason that they have pursued a combination with Paramount. They have a clear strategic vision for the future and the resources to build on Paramount Global’s competitive advantages to drive the Company’s success.

The agreement we entered into today is subject to closing conditions, and we expect the deal to be completed in the first half of 2025. Until then, George, Chris, and Brian will continue to lead the Company, and they will be sharing more with you shortly. I of course will also be here to cheer you on, and assist in any way that I can. It has truly been my honor to work with all of you these past several years, and to see so many of our dreams come to fruition.

I want to express my deepest thanks to you for your commitment, hard work, and most importantly your support of my family and me. Against a challenging industry backdrop and many changes at the company, you have protected Paramount’s assets and delivered for our audiences. As I have said before, and I will always say, we have the best people in the business here at Paramount and it is truly a privilege to work with you. I will always treasure the relationships I have had with you and the ways we have worked together to distinguish ourselves in our industry.

All the best, Shari



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