Physical Address

304 North Cardinal St.
Dorchester Center, MA 02124

Skydance Outlines Vision for Paramount: Stability, Tech Savvy, and Cash

Now that Shari Redstone has finalized the deal to sell her father’s media empire to Skydance and RedBird Capital, the future of the company remains to be seen.

The specifics of the merger between Skydance, the production entity behind franchises like “Mission: Impossible,” and Paramount Global have been partially revealed over the past few months. An official announcement late Sunday provided additional clarity on the new directives of Paramount’s new owners.

Skydance is investing $1.5 billion into Paramount’s balance sheet. This cash infusion aims to attract top talent and make brands like Paramount Pictures and CBS more competitive by providing the studio with “stability,” according to the formal announcement.

The merged entities, temporarily named New Paramount, aim to become a leading destination for storytellers, dedicated to high-quality content. The vision is to enhance profitability, support stability and independence for creators, and enable increased investment in growth areas.

David Ellison will oversee the new company as Chairman and CEO, while former NBCUniversal chief Jeff Shell will serve as President. Both Ellison and Shell are recognized for their operational experience and success in driving creativity. Shell’s return to a leadership role comes after a controversial exit from NBCU due to accusations of sexual harassment and subsequent investigation.

Until the transaction is finalized next year, interim CEOs George Cheeks, Brian Robbins, and Chris McCarthy will continue efforts to cut costs and sell assets.

Ellison highlighted that Oracle, run by his father Larry Ellison, will play a significant role moving forward. A primary focus will be on technological advancements across various entertainment platforms, including animation, gaming, film, sports, news, and television. It’s yet to be determined which technologies will be applied and how, but the rise of artificial intelligence in Hollywood signals significant changes ahead.

Paramount+, the media company’s streaming service with approximately 72 million subscribers, stands to benefit greatly from this merger. Competitors like Netflix and Disney+ currently hold larger subscriber bases.

Skydance has committed to establishing a “modernized infrastructure offering scalability and ingenuity,” including utilizing Paramount’s direct-to-consumer platforms, the ad-supported streaming service Pluto, and linear networks like MTV.

Gerry Cardinale, head of RedBird and co-investor with the Ellison family in the new Paramount, emphasized the need for legacy media businesses to navigate the evolving landscape with visionary leadership and experienced operational management.

“As one of the iconic media brands and libraries in Hollywood, Paramount has the intellectual property foundation to ensure longevity through this evolution. It will, however, require a new generation of leadership,” Cardinale stated.

Skydance-Paramount aims to be a model for future operations of legacy media businesses, according to Cardinale.

Source: Variety