Paramount saga's latest twist sees merger with Skydance Media

Jason Pollock
By Jason Pollock | 9 July 2024
Paramount+ Drone Show at Vivid Sydney

American entertainment production company Skydance Media has agreed to acquire global media group Paramount, the owner of the 10 network in Australia, and merge the businesses to create a company to be called New Paramount.

The all-stock transaction comes with a total $US4.3 billion payout for those shareholders wanting cash instead of shares in the new entity. 

David Ellison, the son of multibillionaire Larry Ellison, who cofounded software company Oracle, will become the chairman and CEO of New Paramount and Jeff Shell, former CEO for NBCUniversal, president. 

The company is no stranger to mergers - the current Paramount Global came about as a result of the rebrand from ViacomCBS, which itself was born after the combining of American media companies Viacom and CBS Corporation in 2019.

Paramount Global has six main subsidiaries.

Paramount Pictures handles theatrical film production and distribution, and as the namesake of the company (and the longest running brand, having started back in 1912), is likely the most notably recognisable for consumers.

CBS Entertainment Group operates solely in the US and consists of the CBS television and radio network, along with other brands.

Paramount Media Networks encompasses the pay television channels owned by Paramount in the United States such as MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central and others, while Paramount International Networks looks after certain international versions of their television channels.

Under the Paramount International Networks banner is the Australian free-to-air Network 10.

Paramount Streaming focuses on the global over-the-top streaming services that include SVOD service Paramount+ and a free ad-supported streaming service in Pluto TV. Paramount+ recently introduced ads in Australia.

Paramount Consumer Products and Experiences deals with the retailing and licensing of merchandising for Paramount-owned brands.

Shari Redstone, the non-executive chairwoman of Paramount Global and president of National Amusements, said that as a longtime production partner to Paramount, Skydance is well aware of what the company has accomplished over the years.

"They have a clear strategic vision for the future and the resources to build on Paramount Global’s competitive advantages to drive the company’s success," she said in a note to Paramount staff.

"I want to express my deepest thanks to you for your commitment, hard work, and most importantly your support of my family and me.

"Against a challenging industry backdrop and many changes at the company, you have protected Paramount’s assets and delivered for our audiences. As I have said before, and I will always say, we have the best people in the business here at Paramount and it is truly a privilege to work with you."

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