CBS Reduces Staff in Network, Syndication Groups

CBS Corp. has initiated a round of buyouts and layoffs. The staff reductions, which sources tell Variety number fewer than 50, are focused primarily in the broadcast-network and syndication units. The cuts have taken place over the last month.

A CBS spokesperson declined to comment.

The moves at CBS come as the company continues to shift toward digital distribution of its programming with the growth of CBS All Access as well as Showtime’s standalone digital service and ad-supported news streaming service CBSN, as well as the forthcoming launch of an ad-supported sports streaming product. Speaking at Variety‘s Innovate summit last month, CBS Corp. CEO Leslie Moonves said that the company has designs on a streaming entertainment-news service based on the long-running program “Entertainment Tonight.” Moonves also revealed at the summit that All Access now has more than 2 million subscribers, and that it and Showtime’s OTT product boast more than 4 million subscribers combined.

The staff reduction is not believed to be on the same scale as recent restructuring moves at Disney’s ESPN and Disney-ABC Television Group, each of which affected a much larger number of employees than CBS is believed to have impacted.

The Wrap first reported news of the layoffs .

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