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New Owner Outlines Plans To Revive Paramount

Paramount Pictures (Image: Sourced from Unsplash)

As Australia’s Network 10 and Paramount+ gets a new owner in the US, all eyes are on David Ellison who will take over as CEO and chairman of the new entity arising from the merger of Skydance Media and Paramount Global.

“The assets at Paramount are not replicable,” Ellison said in an interview this week.

Jeff Shell, a former NBCUniversal executive, will serve as president of Paramount when the Skydance merger closes.

Ellison and Shell are working with consultants at Bain & Co. to understand how they can restructure Paramount. They’ve identified A$2.97 billion in cost savings, which includes measures such as firing hundreds of people, reducing programming costs and consolidating TV production, reported Bloomberg.

Shell has a plan on how to manage the decline of traditional TV networks, and it’s some of that experience which may come to good use in turning around a struggling Network 10 in Australia.

The company will also explore the divestiture of non-strategic assets both in the US and abroad.

As for the use of technology, Skydance is using Oracle’s cloud computing technology to help reduce the cost of making films such as Spellbound for Netflix.

Ellison wants Paramount to fuse art and technology, in a way similar to what Apple has done. He wants Paramount to improve the technology behind advertising sales at its streaming TV service and the algorithm that recommends what to watch. “It will be a combination of art and technology working hand in hand,” he said.

Ellison said Paramount+ can thrive on its own, although he and Shell have indicated that they are open to the idea of pursuing a joint venture.

They reportedly believe that combining Paramount+ with NBC’s Peacock or Warner Bros.’s Max will help manage costs, reduce cancellations and create a more competitive service.

The investors confirmed on Monday that Paramount has been looking for a partner internationally.

The investors also believe that they can combine the ad sales power of Paramount+ and the company’s free Pluto streaming service.

The Ellison-led group believes it can take the money-losing streaming business which has a presence in Australia too and break-even within 18 months of the merger.

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