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ViacomCBS (VIAC) Reorganizes Paramount Pictures Leadership

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ViacomCBS (VIAC - Free Report) is splitting Paramount Pictures into separate movie and TV production operating units while also naming a new studio chief executive.

The company recently announced that Paramount Pictures CEO and chairman Jim Gianopulos will hand over control of the studio, which is known for flicks like A Quiet Place and The SpongeBob Movie, to Brian Robbins.

Robbins, who has spear-headed mega-franchises like PAW Patrol, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and SpongeBob SquarePants at Nickelodeon, will continue in his current role of heading Nickelodeon and take on the added role of president and CEO of Paramount while Gianopulos will remain in an advisory role through the end of the year.

Robbins will assume oversight of films produced for Paramount+ as well as continue to be responsible for kids and family content globally for the streaming service.

Transition in Paramount Television Studios

Paramount Television Studios will become part of the premium network group under the leadership of David Nevins, who is chairman and CEO of Showtime Networks. Nicole Clemens will continue to lead Paramount Television Studios as its president, reporting directly to Nevins.

Nevins and Clemens will also continue to serve in their current Paramount+ roles of chief content officer, Scripted Originals, and president of Original Scripted Series, respectively.

Paramount Television Studios has grown to become a leading provider of series entertainment with 20+ shows in production or on-air on various platforms and networks, including hits such as 13 Reasons Why, Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan, The Haunting of Hill House, the upcoming series The Offer, about the making of The Godfather, for Paramount + and American Gigolo for Showtime, among many others.

In a push to pump up content, Paramount Television is expected to focus primarily on making content for its sister cable and streaming networks. Currently, Paramount Television creates content for media platforms such as Apple TV+ platform and Netflix (NFLX - Free Report) .

The shift follows a similar approach at competitors like Disney (DIS - Free Report) and NBCUniversal, which produce new movies and TV shows for their properties.

ViacomCBS’ Growing Focus on Paramount+ Streaming Service

The moves inside Paramount come as ViacomCBS chairman Shari Redstone and CEO Robert Bakish are putting the priority on Paramount+, and the rebrand and expansion of CBS All Access that took effect last March.

ViacomCBS is aligning resources to spur the growth of its paid streaming service, which lags rivals including Netflix, Disney+, and AT&T (T - Free Report) owned HBO Max. In August, ViacomCBS logged over 42.4 million subscribers across its streaming services, which include Paramount+, Showtime, and BET+. The numbers are only a fraction of the massive subscriber numbers amassed by Netflix, which reported over 209.18 million global subscribers, and Disney+, which now has more than 116 million subscribers.

ViacomCBS has long maintained that its mix of live sports and news along with premium, on-demand fare, makes Paramount+ unique. Recently, this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company has inked several content deals for the service, including a $900 million deal with South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

The streaming service is expanding internationally in Australia and New Zealand and plans to enter key European markets, including the UK, Ireland, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, and Austria in 2022 as part of the new Sky partnership.

The bet by ViacomCBS in reshuffling the Paramount executive ranks is that Robbins on the film side and Nevins on the TV front can champion titles that will help the streaming service combat competition.

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