In November 2018, Paramount Pictures boss Jim Gianopulos revealed a major new initiative for then-parent Viacom: a multi-picture cope with Netflix. “Our priority is to expand our role as a major global content supplier,” Gianopulos stated.
Priorities have modified.
Gianopulos is now headed toward the exits, and a rising star within the ViacomCBS government ranks, Brian Robbins, is anticipated so as to add oversight of the studio to his rising portfolio. No one on the studio has commented publicly as but, however the transfer is anticipated to turn out to be official within the coming days. Minted in July as CEO of Nickelodeon with world oversight, Robbins this 12 months additionally gained extra duty at Paramount+, the rebrand and growth of CBS All Access that went reside final March. That was the third massive promotion for Robbins inside ViacomCBS in that many months.
Jim Gianopulos Leaving Paramount As Chairman & CEO, Brian Robbins Expected To Take Over
It continues the continuing post-merger consolidation within the high government ranks of ViacomCBS below CEO Bob Bakish, which has seen Robbins, Chris McCarthy and George Cheeks constantly increasing their duties. The trio are stated to be getting alongside and work effectively collectively.
Gianopulos’ pending exit brings again the query a few potential merger of ViacomCBS’ two important scripted TV studios, CBS TV Studios and Paramount TV Studios, first raised when the Viacom-CBS merger was introduced. The two studios remained separate post-merger, with Gianopulos thought of Paramount TV Studios’ important protector.
Paramount TV Studios’ President Nicole Clemens’ current duty growth to supervise scripted content material at Paramount+ may make a Paramount TV-CBS Studios merger simpler logistically. However, in line with sources, such a transfer just isn’t within the playing cards, at the very least within the fast future.
ViacomCBS has a number of manufacturing divisions that additionally embody MTV Entertainment Studios, Nickelodeon Studios and BET Studios, and Paramount TV Studios has began differentiating itself lately by specializing in collection based mostly on titles from the Paramount movie library, which may present a lane for the outfit to stay standalone.
Press studies Friday morning revealed a transfer that blind-sided individuals inside the corporate, however when it comes to which execs it favors, the shuffle is much less of a shock. Robbins got here to the corporate from AwesomenessTV, a digital outfit identified for nurturing low-cost, high-impact hits like To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, which turned a teen franchise for Netflix. Instead of licensing these initiatives out, in line with insiders, the plan shall be to direct an growing variety of them to the corporate’s personal streaming service, Paramount+.
“This change isn’t due to Jim’s performance,” stated an individual acquainted with high administration’s considering. “He has done a remarkable job at Paramount and he’s widely respected at the company. It’s just a reflection of how dramatically the business has changed, and the need to position the company differently.”
Gianopulos, who had an extended tenure as a high exec at Fox earlier than leaping to Paramount in 2017, executed a big turnaround on the 109-year-old studio. The 12 months he received there, it booked an working lack of $445 million. “That’s about as dark as it gets, particularly for a major studio,” Gianopulos stated later, after getting Paramount again into the black. “Those numbers should never exist.”
While profitability returned, although, the mission turned extra difficult, actually as soon as Covid-19 upended every part. Along with the pandemic, media firms — and tech titans like Apple — all jumped into direct-to-consumer streaming. As a so-called “arms dealer,” ViacomCBS thrived within the altering atmosphere. Paramount bought exhibits like 13 Reasons Why to Netflix and Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan to Amazon Prime Video. Stymied by theatrical shutdowns, the studio additionally shipped off main properties like Coming 2 America and Without Remorse to Amazon, and several other others to Netflix.
The regular movement of licensing has provided welcome income for the corporate, which reunited Viacom and CBS (whose shares are managed by Shari Redstone, now chairman of ViacomCBS) in December 2019. While executives keep they train self-discipline when making choices about licensing, these actions have resulted in some awkward circumstances within the streaming period. The Godfather trilogy — the final word Paramount trophy — is on NBCUniversal’s Peacock and a bit of the home-grown South Park is on HBO Max. The monetary motive was apparent, however Wall Street regularly puzzled why the corporate wasn’t extra inclined to make use of its estimable roster of IP to feed Paramount+.
ViacomCBS debuted its rebrand and growth of the six-year-old CBS All Access, about six months in the past with a full-tilt advertising blitz. A industrial through the CBS broadcast of final February’s Super Bowl featured a green-screen galaxy of firm expertise, together with Stephen Colbert, Gayle King and Dora the Explorer, mountain climbing up the Paramount mountain. The new providing promised “news, live sports and a mountain of entertainment.” In the second quarter, which ended June 30, the corporate added 6.5 million world streaming subscribers to go 42 million. Though Paramount+ is a big chunk of that quantity, Showtime’s OTT service in addition to BET+ and Noggin are additionally contributors.
Overall streaming income practically doubled within the second quarter, reaching $983 million, the corporate reported. Plotting a course in subscription streaming has offered a frightening job, although, with the corporate’s subscriber forecasts notably extra modest than these of Disney or WarnerMedia. Those two firms are usually seen as probably the most reliable long-term challengers to Netflix, which continues to guide the sector with 209 million world subscribers.
ViacomCBS has talked up the worldwide potential for Paramount+, which has expanded throughout Latin America and different territories. Last month, although, the corporate introduced a three way partnership with Comcast, SkyShowtime, as a automobile to achieve Europe versus attempting to go it alone. The three way partnership adopted months of hypothesis a few potential merger between the 2 firms — a doubtlessly tough maneuver to tug off within the present regulatory atmosphere given the businesses’ broadcast holdings. Getting Viacom and CBS again collectively — a course of that took years to finish — was lengthy seen as the primary of a multi-step course of of achieving true scale. Especially with a scorching M&A market spawning offers like Amazon’s pending buy of MGM and Discovery’s mixture with WarnerMedia, the necessity for scale continues at ViacomCBS.
Film income is about 10% of the overall throughout ViacomCBS. In the second quarter, it inched up 3% to $667 million, with the clear spotlight being A Quiet Place, Part II. More lately, although, the image has gotten a bit fuzzier for Paramount. With the Delta variant preserving Covid case hundreds growing, the studio determined to delay Top Gun but once more, to 2022, and in addition push again the following Mission: Impossible installment.
Robbins, whose prior outfit, Awesomeness, was acquired by Viacom, received the possibility to remain on with the buying firm and has prospered. According to a well-placed supply, he has impressed Bakish and Redstone together with his acumen when it comes to shepherding materials with young-skewing DNA and marshaling company assets. “As the nature of running a studio has completely changed, he has the combination of instincts and skills that have inspired confidence.”