Stop The Song And Dance: Paramount Global Goes It Alone - For Now

Paramount Global's awkward merger/buyout dance with Skydance Media ended with Paramount not looking to bend over backwards while being stepped on -- at least from the perspective of Shari Redstone.

The complex nature of Skydance Media's offer to buy and/or merge with Paramount Global was made more challenging by Redstone's efforts -- through her National Amusements controlling stake in Paramount -- including Redstone's goal to have a say in its future control, according to reports.

This sounds crazy when there are billions in dollars coming your way. But that’s how some media executives roll these days.

One of Redstone’s goals was to go as far as seeking approval of sale of businesses that Skydance would surely make after the completion of the Paramount deal -- including possible offloading of CBS, BET (or other cable TV networks), or international media operations.



Many feel it was Redstone’s wish to have a continuing say to pursue the legacy that her father Sumner Redstone started up with National Amusements decades ago.

The deal was also complicated by Skydance's initial offer to pay a premium to National Amusements for its “A”-type controlling share versus other shareholders. While much of this was eventually resolved with its most recent offer, analysts may believe that Redstone wants other incentives on her end.

It’s time to let go, according to many analysts -- and to get back to the business of running a publicly stock market traded company. 

Many talked about going back to having one chief executive officer and ending the short reign of  its current trio of leaders who make up the “Office of the CEO.” Others believe Paramount should be an “arms dealer” -- making and licensing TV movie content to other streamers and media operations.

As the company’s trends exist now, you might not find much hope: Paramount+ -- the budding premium streamer platform -- still burns through a lot of cash (while growing revenues), all the while its legacy media business continues to be profitable (while seeing revenues decline).

Robert Fishman, media analyst, for MoffettNathanson, says: “The vast majority of the company’s earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) is still driven by a linear network portfolio that is unfortunately skewed (outside of CBS) towards general entertainment, the content category seeing the most rapid decline.”

The choreography is unsettling, with potential stumbling blocks. Is Paramount challenged with fewer moves, with the twists and turns it can make -- as a stand-alone entity?

1 comment about "Stop The Song And Dance: Paramount Global Goes It Alone - For Now".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, June 14, 2024 at 11:16 a.m.

    Good one , Wayne. Obviously, Paramount needs to find a way to dump its cable channels and focus on building a solid ad revenue base for its streaming ventures. The CBS TV Network continues to be profitable as are the O&Os---these could be a solid base for a more sensible approach to streaming---one that exploits the obvious synergies between the two platforms.

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