Paramount Global cuts hit international execs as impact of restructuring emerges

Bob Bakish (Source: MIPCOM)

Paramount veteran Michael D Armstrong is among a slew of execs departing the US studio following its overhaul earlier this week, which saw 800 jobs being cut from the Bob Bakish-led company.

Armstrong had been with the company across several stints for more than 25 years and was most recently EVP of worldwide TV licensing, having joined in 2018.

He had also held roles at predecessor Viacom including EVP & GM of international brand development.

Michael D Armstrong

The exec, who had previously led brands such as BET and Spike outside of the US, confirmed his exit on LinkedIn, adding that his next move has not yet been decided but that he has “an idea or two.”


Armstrong joins a swathe of other senior execs in departing Paramount, including well-known international formats SVP, Paul Gilbert.

Staff from Paramount TV Studios, which has housed scripted originals for Paramount+ since 2022, are also affected with the company moving its development and current team under Jana Helman, who becomes head of development.

She reports into Paramount TV Studios boss Nicole Clemens, with EVP & head of current Cheryl Bosnak exiting, having been in the role since 2019 following a move from Disney.

Kate Gill, the team’s SVP of development, and Julie Katchen, VP of current are also departing, according to US trade Deadline.

Paramount TV Studios sibling CBS Studios is also affected, with SVP of current, cable & streaming Brie Neimand leaving and Showtime Networks SVP Geoff Stier, who had worked across originals.

Why Paramount Global is making cuts

The cuts detailed this week have been on the cards for the past month, after Bakish told staff that as a result of challenges including “a soft ad market, a volatile macroeconomic environment and two historic strikes,” Paramount would be reducing it workforce globally.

Yellowstone (Source: Paramount)

The company has switched up its strategy to focus more tightly than ever on “Hollywood hits” and to produce fewer local, international originals as it seeks to drive earnings growth and profitability for its streaming services including Halo and Yellowstone SVOD Paramount+.

Paramount Global begun its latest round of lay-offs earlier this week, with the 800 job losses amounting to about 3% of the company’s total workforce.

It follow previous lay-offs and several restructures in recent months, including 120 exits as the company integrated the Showtime and Paramount+ brands, cutbacks at the Smithsonian Channel and the merging of the Showtime and MTV Entertainment Studios teams.


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