ViacomCBS layoffs continue amid merger integration
ViacomCBS has unleashed a fresh round of layoffs in the ongoing integration of Viacom and CBS, whose merger created the company in December.
ViacomCBS Chief Executive Bob Bakish sent an e-mail to staff Wednesday after handing out pink slips that may have hit more than 100 workers, according to a source. The news pushed shares of ViacomCBS down nearly 9 percent, to $17.31, in midday trading Thursday.
Sources told The Post that staffers at ViacomCBS’ sales and marketing divisions, as well as employees at MTV News, Paramount Network, Nickelodeon and the “Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” were let go. ViacomCBS did not comment.
The cuts included top execs such as Smithsonian Network President Tom Hayden and Comedy Central head of content and creative enterprises Sarah Babineau, according to media news site The Wrap.
“I know that even before the coronavirus pandemic, we were already in a period of significant change to integrate our newly combined company,” Bakish said in the memo.
The exec called the last few weeks “challenging,” referring to the pandemic, but said that it is “critical that we continue these efforts to integrate and evolve ViacomCBS to remain competitive now and for the future.”
Cost cutting has been the norm at ViacomCBS. The Post exclusively reported that just weeks after the two firms combined, Bakish began laying off employees in back office and corporate roles. In February, Bakish said the deal promises $750 million in cost saving synergies over three years, up from his previous projection of $500 million.
That same month, the company laid off at least 117 east coast staffers across 11 divisions, according to a layoff notice with New York state.
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