EXCLUSIVE: The upcoming merger of CBS Studios, Paramount TV Studios and the Paramount+ scripted original writing team is happening, and it’s bringing with it some staff cuts. The latest round of Paramount Global layoffs affects under 30 people, I hear, all on the West Coast. According to sources, the majority of them are at CBS Studios and Paramount TV Studios, but a handful of CBS employees are also being let go.
As Deadline has speculatively reported, the Paramount+ scripted original team has been folded into Paramount TV Studios, sources said. The move involves some redundancies, I hear.
UPDATED: Paramount+’s Jana Helman has been named head of development for the studio, reporting to Paramount TV Studios president Nicole Clemens. Jenna Santoianni, PTVS’ executive producer and chief development officer, is stepping down.
Today’s downgrade ends speculation about how CBS Studios, led by president David Stapf, and Paramount TV Studios, led by president Nicole Clemens, would coexist in the same portfolio — in an October reorganization, both studios were placed under the purview of George Cheeks, President and CEO, CBS and CCO, News & Sports, Paramount+. Paramount Global CEO Bob Bakish emphasized on the day of the restructuring that Paramount TV Studios “will continue to operate as a studio alongside CBS Studios.”
Still, looking for redundancies was inevitable. As predicted, the CBS Studios and Paramount TV Studios development teams remain separate and are largely untouched by the cuts, I hear, except for those affected by the merger of Paramount TV Studios and Paramount+ originals.
Most of the layoffs at both studios come from the areas being streamlined/merged, including BA, legal, manufacturing and casting.
Cheeks and Clemens allayed merger fears the day Paramount TV Studios joined Cheeks-owned CBS Studios, assuring the PTVS team that “Paramount TV Studios and CBS Studios will both continue to have their own leaders and separate creative teams that will work independently in the Market.”
As we reported last month, the plan is for Paramount+’s three studios for scripted series — CBS Studios, Paramount TV Studios and MTV Entertainment Studios — to each handle their development for the streamer and oversee their Paramount+ shows in partnership with Tom Ryan , president and CEO of Paramount Streaming, and Tanya Giles, the company’s senior programming director of streaming, overseeing content exposure.
As for how greenlighting decisions on Paramount+ scripted shows will be made, we’ve reported on the plan for a committee made up of a half-dozen senior executives from studios and other Paramount Global TV divisions to handle that.