Paramount cuts 120 staff in Showtime & MTV Entertainment Studios merger

Your Honor

Paramount Global has merged the leadership of Showtime and MTV Entertainment Studios, with the shake-up leading to around 120 staff being laid off yesterday, with Showtime co-president of entertainment Jana Winograde among those departing.

Winograde, who worked on shows including Dexter: New Blood and Your Honor, is leaving after six years with the company, while her fellow co-president of entertainment, Gary Levine, who developed shows including Ripley, which is moving to Netflix, is stepping into a creative advisory role.

The changes were revealed in memos to staff by Chris McCarthy, now president and CEO of Showtime/MTV Entertainment Studios and Paramount Media Networks, who took oversight of Showtime following the exit of David Nevins in October.

MTV unscripted head Nina L Diaz has been upped to chief creative officer and president of content in the new structure, while Keith Cox, president of scripted for MTV Entertainment Studios, has expanded his remit to president of scripted, reporting to Diaz.

Amy Israel will remain in her role as EVP for Showtime scripted originals, while Keri Flint has been upped to VP and head of production. Michael Elias takes on new duties as EVP and head of scripted production and Trevor Rose has been promoted to EVP and head of talent and casting.

Among the Showtime executives leaving the company as part of the changes are Vinnie Malhotra, EVP of non-fiction programming; Kent Sevener, EVP of content acquisition; and Rob Rosenberg, EVP and general counsel; while Michael Crotty, COO and CFO of Paramount Premium Group is also departing.

Serving at the group level for for both Paramount Media Networks and Showtime/MTV Entertainment Studios, Keyes Hill-Edgar is COO, while Barbara Zaneri has been named chief programming acquisitions officer for Paramount Global, taking on responsibilities for Showtime; and Laurel Weir continues as EVP and head of programming and insights.

“I’m excited to share that we’re combining Showtime and MTV Entertainment Studios into one unified leadership team,” said McCarthy. “Together, these creative powerhouses make some of the biggest hits in TV: from Yellowstone to Yellowjackets, Dexter to The Daily Show, Billions to Beavis and Butt-Head, The Chi to The Challenge, Jersey Shore to Tulsa King, Drag Race to The Department, Love and Hip Hop to Your Honor, plus Emily in Paris, South Park and Mayor of Kingstown.”

This new structure comes just two weeks after Paramount Global revealed plans to integrate Showtime into Paramount+ across both streaming and linear services in the US, with the service rebranded as Paramount+ with Showtime.

McCarthy also recently revealed a new Showtime scripted strategy focused on franchise building, with the decision leading to the cancellation of several series, including horror Let The Right One In, crime drama American Gigolo and Three Women, which has now found a new home on Starz, while multiple spin-offs are in development for Dexter and Billions.

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