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Paramount Leadership Alludes to Layoffs If Merger Does Not Go Through Paramount is awaiting approval on its merger with Skydance Media from majority shareholder Shari Redstone.

By Emily Rella

A proposed merger between Paramount and Skydance, which was agreed to on Monday, per CNBC, is in limbo until approval from Paramount majority shareholder Shari Redstone. But the company revealed on Tuesday that it has a plan should the deal not go through — and it's not looking great for employees.

The plan, revealed Tuesday at Paramount's annual shareholders meeting, includes cutting costs by roughly $500 million and removing "duplicative teams and functions across the organization, real estate, marketing, and other corporate overhead categories."

Related: 'I'm Smarter Now...But Also Poorer': Warren Buffett Says Berkshire Hathaway Ditched Its Entire Stake in Paramount at a Big Loss

After Paramount's former CEO Bob Bakish was ousted in April, executives Chris McCarthy, George Cheeks, and Brian Robbins were placed in a position to temporarily share the role as an "Office of the CEO."

"To be clear, $500 million in cost savings is just the beginning," Cheeks said on the call, per CNBC.

Robbins also noted on the call that the company had been "aggressively exploring" different options that have a "great deal of inbound interest" for streaming partnerships to join with the company's Paramount+ platform, which currently has around 70 million subscribers.

"Let me be clear, we're not talking about marketing bundles. This is a deep and expansive relationship," he said.

A new streaming partnership could potentially emulate the paths of other rivals like Hulu which was acquired by Disney in 2019 or HBO Max which merged with Discovery+ last spring to become "Max" streaming service.

Paramount laid off an estimated 800 employees just days after Super Bowl LVIII this year in an effort to "return the company to earnings growth" amid mounting debt.

Last month, meanwhile, Warren Buffett revealed that Berkshire Hathaway had offloaded all of its shares in Paramount during the company's annual shareholder meeting, noting that he had lost "quite a bit of money" in the process.

"I think I'm smarter now than I was a couple years ago, but I also think I'm poorer because I acquired the knowledge in the manner I did," Buffett said regarding the decision.

Related: Paramount Is Laying Off Hundreds of Employees Just Days After 'Blockbuster' Super Bowl LVIII Success

Paramount reported a strong Q1 2024 with a 51% year-over-year increase in revenue on its Paramount+ streaming platform.

Redstone is expected to decide on the merger within the next week.

Emily Rella

Entrepreneur Staff

Senior News Writer

Emily Rella is a Senior News Writer at Previously, she was an editor at Verizon Media. Her coverage spans features, business, lifestyle, tech, entertainment, and lifestyle. She is a 2015 graduate of Boston College and a Ridgefield, CT native. Find her on Twitter at @EmilyKRella.

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