Paramount CEO Bob Bakish to step down amid sale discussions

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Paramount Global said Monday that CEO Bob Bakish is stepping down from his role, a awesome guidance displacement astatine nan media and intermezo institution arsenic it considers a imaginable merger aliases sale. 

Paramount said successful a statement on Monday that it is creating an Office of nan CEO to switch Bakish. The domiciled will beryllium filled by 3 Paramount Global executives: CBS CEO George Cheeks; Showtime/MTV Entertainment Studios and Paramount Media Networks CEO Chris McCarthy; and Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon CEO Brian Robbins. 

"I person tremendous assurance successful George, Chris and Brian," Shari Redstone, chair of nan board, said successful nan statement. "They person some nan expertise to create and execute connected a caller strategical scheme and to activity together arsenic existent partners."

Paramount Global is nan genitor institution of CBS News.

Bakish's departure comes astatine a pivotal infinitesimal for Paramount, pinch nan institution exploring a merger and different deals pinch respective imaginable partners. In caller weeks, nan institution has held exclusive discussions pinch Skydance Media, a media patient founded by David Ellison, nan boy of Oracle laminitis Larry Ellison, according to published reports.

The discussions are analyzable by Paramount's ownership structure, arsenic Shari Redstone — nan girl of nan precocious institution laminitis Sumner Redstone — efficaciously controls 77% of its voting shares. Under a projected woody pinch Ellison, Redstone would waste her voting liking to Skydance for $2 billion, while different Paramount shareholders would person banal successful a recently merged company, nan Journal reported.

The institution didn't reside its merger discussions successful nan statement, though nan committee of board said it is looking "forward to moving pinch George, Chris and Brian arsenic they execute connected cardinal initiatives to heighten capacity and worth creation astatine Paramount Global."

Bakish's exit marks nan extremity of a agelong profession astatine Paramount that began successful 1997 astatine Viacom, nan movie studio's predecessor company. He was yet tapped to lead Viacom, and past oversaw nan merger of Viacom and CBS successful 2019. In 2022, ViacomCBS changed its sanction to Paramount Global.

In an email sent to Paramount Global employees, Bakish said, "When I was asked to service arsenic interim CEO successful 2016, I thought it would beryllium a month-long gig. Seven years later, I tin genuinely opportunity nan opportunity to lead this unthinkable institution has been an unexpected but astir invited gift, and nan top grant of my master life."

Separately, Paramount reported a first-quarter nonaccomplishment of $554 million, importantly narrower than its $1.12 cardinal nonaccomplishment successful nan year-ago period. Revenue roseate 6% to $7.69 billion, buoyed by beardown advertizing request for CBS' Super Bowl broadcast successful February arsenic good arsenic nan summation of 3.7 cardinal caller subscribers to nan Paramount+ streaming service. 

The institution said Paramount+ ended nan 4th pinch 71 cardinal subscribers, while nan service's nonaccomplishment narrowed to $286 million, compared pinch $511 cardinal successful nan year-earlier period.

  • Paramount+
  • Shari Redstone
  • Nickelodeon
  • Paramount
  • MTV
  • CBS
  • Entertainment
  • Showtime

Aimee Picchi

Aimee Picchi is nan subordinate managing editor for CBS MoneyWatch, wherever she covers business and individual finance. She antecedently worked astatine Bloomberg News and has written for nationalist news outlets including USA Today and Consumer Reports.