How Paramount’s Skydance Media Merger Will Shake Up the Studio

Art by BoliviaInteligente via Unsplash

How Paramount’s Skydance Media Merger Will Shake Up the Studio

By Movieguide® Contributor

Skydance Media’s acquisition of Paramount was approved on Sunday; the companies have since revealed their vision for a shared future.

 The largest immediate impact that would come from the merger would be a $1.5 billion cash infusion to help the struggling studio stabilize, allowing top talent and creatives to feel comfortable signing onto new projects from the studio. Luring these high-quality individuals sits at the center of the company’s plan for the future.

“[Paramount] will be a premier, creative-first destination for storytellers, dedicated to top-quality content and will be positioned to improve profitability, foster stability and independence for creators, and enable more investment in growth areas,” the companies said.

While building on the longstanding legacy of Paramount, Skydance will look to incorporate its specialty as well, helping the company overhaul its technology to become an industry leader in the space.

“[Paramount will] focus on technological advancements, across multiple entertainment platforms including animation, gaming, film, sports, news and television,” said David Ellison, the head of Skydance. “[Skydance will provide] modernized infrastructure, offering scalability and ingenuity.”

Paramount will see a leadership overhaul as well with Ellison taking over as chairman and CEO with former NBCUniversal chief Jeff Shell serving as president. Until they take over, however, the current trio of co-CEOs will continue to cut costs and keep the company’s losses for the year as low as possible. Nonetheless, Paramount is expected to lose $900 million in 2024, adding to $4.5 billion in losses since 2020.

However, Paramount remains poised as one of the top studios in the industry, with Paramount+ boasting 72 million subscribers and landing multiple hits this year, such as KNUCKLES. A new metric from Nielsen also revealed Paramount is the third largest studio for TV viewing, with its streaming and legacy media combining to grab 8.8% of all TV usage.

“As one of the iconic media brands and libraries in Hollywood, Paramount has the intellectual property foundation to ensure longevity through this evolution — but it will require a new generation of visionary leadership together with experienced operational management to navigate this next phase,” said Gerry Cardinale who will have a stake in the new company through the investor RedBird.

Movieguide® previously reported:

After talks between Skydance Media and Paramount broke down last month, a renewed effort to pen a merger between the two companies has resulted in a tentative deal.

When talks ended in the middle of June, the major holdup came from Paramount’s majority shareholder, Shari Redstone, who was dubious about Skydance’s ability to close the $6 billion deal. Under this new deal, it appears her concern has been addressed, though it remains unseen if the cost of the arrangement has changed.

While the merger between Skydance and Paramount has been tentatively agreed upon, one term believed to be included is a 45-day period for Paramount to shop around for a better deal. Paramount had previously been in talks with Sony, Peacock and Warner Bros. Discovery. This 45-day period makes way for any of these companies to make an eleventh-hour offer.

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