The new Paramount chairman continues to clean the house, showing the door to another executive.
Change of arrangement in Hollywood studios is almost always bloody. A new king or queen arrives and those loyal to the previous court lose their jobs.
But the guillotine is falling at Paramount Pictures at an astonishing pace, causing a panic within the 109-year-old film company.
ViacomCBS, which owns Paramount, announced on September 13 that Paramount’s president, James N. Gianopulos and replaced him with children’s television executive Brian Robbins. By September 17th, Chris Petrykin was shown the door to the studio’s respected executive vice president of global communications and corporate branding. Emma Watts, the president of Paramount Motion Picture Group, was fired last week. And on Thursday, Paramount parted ways with its animation president, Mireille Soria.
Paramount declined to comment on the departure.
The pace at which Mr. Robbins is transforming reflects his personal style — Forward Charge! — and the vulnerable position in which Paramount and its corporate parent find themselves.
Paramount was once the most powerful studio in Hollywood, distributing culture-defining films such as “The Godfather,” “Grease,” “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” “Forrest Gump” and “Beverly Hills Cop.” But severe mismanagement left it on life support in the 2010s. Mr. Gianopulos pulled it back from the brink, but with the studio still running, many analysts saw it as unsuitable to compete with franchise-rich competitors like Disney and Universal.
Similarly, ViacomCBS ranks as a smaller player in the streaming business that has come to dominate the media industry. Mr. Robbins, who has online entertainment experience on his resume and little affinity for the calcified Hollywood business model, was founded at Paramount because ViacomCBS wants studios to prioritize streaming distribution for movies – specifically, Paramount. +, which is the group’s nascent streaming service. .
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