Paramount Pictures restructured its inhouse licensing and consumer products divisions Thursday, using a reporting model that closely resembles similar departments at Universal Pictures and Warner Bros.

The licensing and consumer products group will merge with motion picture promotions, the marketing division overseen by LeeAnne Stables, exec VP of worldwide marketing partnerships.

The distribution of all the studio’s films across digital platforms will be handled by Hal Richardson, prexy of Paramount Pictures Worldwide Television Distribution.

Development and production of films that go straight to homevid or are intended for distribution acrossdigital platforms will be shepherded by Tom Lesinski, who serves as president of Paramount Digital Entertainment.

The studio said 53 staffers will be laid off as part of the reorganization that has been in the works for some time as Par’s bosses have wrestled with ways to streamline departments at the studio to reduce overhead.

Last year, U made similar moves when it consolidated its corporate alliances and consumer products divisions under one roof through the formation of Universal Partnerships and Licensing.

Run by Stephanie Sperber, the division oversees the studio’s consumer product licensing, film and home entertainment promotions and corporate alliances for theatrical, home entertainment, theme parks and stage productions (Daily Variety, May 27).

In an internal memo, Paramount said the changes were made to “better manage our overall business, as well as make our reporting structure more rational and efficient,” according to Par chief operating officer Frederick Huntsberry and vice chairman Rob Moore.

“In today’s environment, companies must make smart choices about how resources are deployed. The restructuring we are announcing today consolidates our operations in a way that is consistent with how more of our customers are exploring multiple facets of the film experience.

“Paramount as a company simply must keep evolving and refining its operations.”