Paramount lays off 60 staffers

Consolidation of departments leads to cutbacks

Paramount Pictures and Paramount Vantage have let go about 60 employees as part of their ongoing reorganization, according to an internal e-mail written by Rob Moore, vice chairman of Paramount Pictures, and John Lesher, president of Paramount Film Group, that circulated inside and outside the studio Thursday.

On Thursday, Paramount completed the consolidation of marketing, distribution and physical production departments that it announced in June. Major staff cuts had been expected.

The newly combined departments will serve Paramount Pictures and Paramount Vantage as well as DreamWorks Pictures, MTV Films, Nickelodeon Movies and distribution partners Marvel and DreamWorks Animation.

"As you know, we announced last month that we would be reorganizing the Paramount and Vantage marketing, distribution and physical production departments to maximize efficiencies," Moore and Lesher wrote. "As part of that process, we analyzed areas of redundancies, and today we announced we would be eliminating about 60 positions across the company.

"Many of the changes were a direct result of the consolidation of these departments, and some were the result of identifying additional opportunities to streamline the organization. The goal is to be strategic and disciplined about how we manage the business for the long term and to take into account the dynamic nature of the challenging marketplace."

"As we have rebuilt and grown the organization, Paramount has consistently looked to evolve in a way that best serves our filmmakers, their creativity and our consumers. We are so grateful for the immense contributions by so many Paramount and Vantage professionals who have been instrumental in our successes so far."

The mood around Paramount already had been fraught in anticipation of layoffs, but it didn't improve matters that the internal e-mail found its way online hours before it was sent internally to affected employees. Notifications were delivered throughout the day.

Jay A. Fernandez reported from Los Angeles; Gregg Goldstein reported from New York.
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