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Sept. 13, 2021, 8:21 p.m. EDT

ViacomCBS unveils new Paramount leadership team, with new focus on streaming

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Joe Flint

ViacomCBS Inc. unveiled a new management team and operating structure for its iconic Paramount Pictures movie and television production unit that Chief Executive Bob Bakish said would better position it for the streaming era.

Among the changes  expected as a result of the realignment is a greater push for Paramount to create content exclusively for its Paramount+ streaming service and other ViacomCBS /zigman2/quotes/200340870/composite VIAC -1.39% networks and streaming platforms, people familiar with the company’s thinking said.

“The moves we’re making today will build on Paramount’s strong momentum, ensuring it continues to engage audiences at scale while embracing viewers’ evolving tastes and habits,” Bakish said in a statement Monday.

Paramount Pictures under the new structure will likely reduce by about half the number of theatrical releases it typically makes in a given year, said one of the people familiar with the company’s thinking. Paramount Pictures had been targeting making at least a dozen theatrical releases annually, the person said.

On the television side, Paramount Television Studios will put more focus on creating shows for its own sister services such as Paramount+ and its cable networks including the Paramount Network, the people familiar with the company said. That is a shift from its current strategy which has made it a prolific supplier to services such as Netflix /zigman2/quotes/202353025/composite NFLX -0.87%  and Apple /zigman2/quotes/202934861/composite AAPL +0.75%  TV+, an approach some Wall Street analysts have cheered.

An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.

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