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Paramount Global Reveals Strategic Plan Amidst Sale Uncertainty

Paramount Global’s leadership, represented by CBS CEO George Cheeks, Paramount Media Networks CEO Chris McCarthy, and Paramount Pictures CEO Brian Robbins, recently revealed a strategic plan at the company’s annual shareholder meeting.

The plan, designed as a fallback in case a planned sale of the company falls through, outlines key priorities such as analyzing streaming joint ventures, slashing $500 million in costs, and shedding non-core assets.

The presentation comes at a critical juncture, as Paramount has tentatively agreed to merge with a consortium led by David Ellison’s Skydance Media, alongside RedBird Capital and KKR.

This goal is urgent due to Paramount’s recent credit downgrade to junk status by S&P Global Ratings, with long-term debt at about $14.6 billion as of March 31.

However, final approval from Paramount’s controlling shareholder, Shari Redstone of National Amusements, is pending.

Redstone has expressed support for the current Office of the CEO leadership team, which has been in charge since former CEO Bob Bakish’s departure in April.

The strategic priorities outlined by the leadership team aim to improve Paramount’s financial health, including reducing debt and returning to an investment-grade rating.

This goal is pressing, given the recent downgrade of Paramount’s credit rating to junk status by S&P Global Ratings, with long-term debt standing at approximately $14.6 billion as of March 31.

The executives emphasized a balanced approach, focusing on growing content and franchises while cutting spending and debt. They emphasized a cautious approach to capital deployment, with content quality as a top priority.

Cheeks highlighted a swift approach to cost reductions, particularly targeting duplicative teams, real estate, and corporate overhead.

Robbins emphasized the interest from potential streaming partners for joint ventures involving Paramount’s streaming service, Paramount+, which boasts over 70 million subscribers but remains unprofitable. McCarthy indicated that asset divestment is also being considered.

Altogether, the plan presented by Paramount Global’s leadership reflects a strategic pivot aimed at financial recovery and growth in an increasingly competitive media world.

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