Smithsonian Channel hit by lay-offs as Paramount chases 25% staff cuts

Chris McCarthy

The Smithsonian Channel is the latest Paramount Global division to be hit by lay-offs, with a large number of its editorial team at its Washington office understood have been axed.

These staff cuts come as part of Paramount’s plan to make a 25% reduction in its US-based team across Showtime/MTV Entertainment Studios and Paramount Media Networks under Chris McCarthy, following its disappointing Q1 financial results.

The Smithsonian Channel launched as a joint venture between Showtime Networks and the Smithsonian Institution in 2007 and is behind factual programming including Project Artemis: Back to the Moon and One Thousand Years of Slavery.

McCarthy told staff in a memo last week that the layoffs would allow Paramount to “reduce costs and create a more effective approach to our business as we move forward.”

The cuts follow the exit of around 120 staff in February as Showtime is integrated into the Paramount+ streaming service and its team merged into MTV Entertainment Studios.

Paramount’s latest financial report posted a $1.12bn revenue decline, with streaming losses climbing to $511m, leading to a share price drop of more than 28%.

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