Paramount to Lay Off 110 Employees

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The cuts are expected to be made in several departments including marketing and finance

Paramount Pictures has announced it will be eliminating 110 positions on its lot and internationally, slicing 5% of its workforce of 2,200.

Paramount COO Frederick Huntsberry said in a memo to employees that the cuts represented an organizational realignment in select areas and the departments that will be most affected by these cuts will be primarily in the finance, human resources, information technology, international home media distribution, legal and marketing departments.

Paramount is having a bounce back year after having hardly any major successes in 2012. “Star Trek Into Darkness,” “G.I. Joe: Retaliation” and “World War Z” have all grossed more than $350 million worldwide.

“As our industry continues to adapt to an increasingly competitive environment, we are always ensuring that Paramount is conducting its business as efficiently and productively as possible,” Huntsberry said.

“Change is always difficult and we never take these steps lightly,” he added. “We are confident that these changes will allow us to manage our business with greater speed and flexibility and fully capitalize on opportunities in the global entertainment market.”

The layoffs are not a major surprise in light of recent statements by Philipp Dauman, CEO of studio parent Viacom, stressing the need to keep expenses down.

On Sept. 24, Dauman told investors at the Goldman Sachs Communacopia Conference that Paramount would focus on “low risk” films, even on high-budget franchises such as Transformers and Mission: Impossible. He also said that the risk on the sequel to “World War Z” would be alleviated by bringing in co-financing.

“We have a history even in tough times of maintaining or growing margins,” he also said.

Dauman added that doing so requires “a tight lid on expenses, including in programming.”

In May, Dauman sounded similar themes at the Nomura U.S. Media & Telecom Summit, saying that Paramount would “focus on profitability” by integrating with other Viacom businesses.

“For the most part we’re going to greenlight films with consumer products potential,” he said, citing plans to reboot the “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” franchise.

It’s the second time in two years that Paramount has sliced more than 100 slots from studio staff. In October, 2011, Paramount cut about 120 staff positions as part of a consolidation effort in the face of declining DVD revenue as it merged its DVD, television and digital divisions and moved headquarters of its international operation to Los Angeles from London.

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  1. Toon says:

    I was in Target last night and realized while looking through the DVD section that there were very few movies I’d want to see more than once. Disposable, one-time use crappy movies is what they’re churning out now, movie companies spending tens of millions while homeless people lay starving on the sidewalks outside their doors, literally. I have no sympathy for the studios, never have. Fat cats that are the heads of these false fronts laugh while laying off expendables, get real. They don’t care, why should they?

  2. Toon says:

    So “greater speed and flexibility” means having a certain number of employees is slowing them down? “Welcome to the family, now leave, you’e too expensive!” lolz

  3. E.V. says:

    Why do they try to make laying off people sound so technical? And don’t they need people to help run the company?

  4. BriteBlonde1 says:

    You are NOT thinking and you no doubt think you’re some special American, but your statement is totally false and untrue. No doubt you’re a paid poster.

  5. occultology says:

    Governmount Shutdown.

  6. Annoyed says:

    Leslie Moons makes $24 million dollars more than the next highest paid CEO in New York. Lop off that amount, pay those employees and maybe have some money left over to fund an “indie” hit. This is capitalism at its worst.

    • mistalaneous says:

      CBS & Viacom have been separate companies since 2005. You’d need to cut Phillipe Dauman’s salary, not Les Moonves’.

  7. jj says:

    America has been ruined by the MBA culture, where human beings are reduced to numbers while fat cats like this guy gets to play God. I can’t wait for the Apocalypse. I hope some WWZ zombies show up at this dude’s house.

  8. Aaron says:

    Why not make smaller films that are less risky that could bring a profit instead of trying to hit homeruns with “so-called” blockbusters. It’s like chess, you use your smaller pieces to set up the bigger ones…Come on, get the “Number Guys” out of the way and bring back the real film people to run the studios.

  9. BriteBlonde1 says:

    So let’s not forget that the #1 and #4 HIGHEST PAID media execs are Viacom’s Les Moonves and Philippe Dauman. No need to worry guys….we can wack some $70,000 marketing lady and not lose one thread of the Frette sheets.

  10. akr says:

    Bounce back year? They may have grossed high but due to their budgets they didn’t make a profit.

  11. Scott says:

    Very sad sorry peeps… we are hiring at

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