news 7 months ago

Paramount Pictures Rebrands Television Production Unit

Variety — Cynthia Littleton

Paramount Pictures has adjusted the moniker of its television production unit.

As of Tuesday, Paramount Television has been renamed Paramount Television Studios. That lines up from a brand perspective with the existing CBS Television Studios operation, which is much larger than its counterpart. The move is understood to be an effort to end confusion in the marketplace between the production unit and the Paramount Network cable channel that is run out of New York.

The name change comes on the heels of the closing of the merger of Viacom and CBS Corp. in December. The impetus for the change was the increase in the number of instances when viewers and industryites — and even ViacomCBS senior managers — mistook Paramount Television for the New York-based Paramount Network cable channel, or the other way around.

There had been speculation in the industry that some form of consolidation between Paramount TV and CBS Television Studios was inevitable. But it’s understood that Paramount Television Studios, headed by president Nicole Clemens, will remain a distinct entity within Paramount and not be absorbed as a label within CBS Television Studios, headed by president David Stapf. Clemens reports to Paramount Pictures chief Jim Gianopulos.

“We felt it was necessary that our name reflect our function as an independent studio within the ViacomCBS company, as well as to our external partners in the industry,” said Clemens.

Paramount Television Studios’ active roster at present includes Amazon’s “Jack Ryan,” Netflix’s “13 Reasons Why” and “The Haunting of Hill House” and Hulu’s “Catch-22” and “Looking for Alaska.”

There may yet be some streamlining of behind-the-scenes of support and administrative functions between CBS Television Studios and Paramount Television Studios. ViacomCBS is under pressure to deliver $500 million in post-merger savings over the next two years. Some of that is sure to come from elimination of duplicated operations.

Clemens took the helm of Paramount Television in September 2018. Over the past year she has staffed up with the appointments of Jenna Santoianni as exec VP of development and Cheryl Bosnak as exec VP of current. In a further sign of operational autonomy, Debra Bergman was promoted to exec VP of production while Ken Basin was upped to exec VP and head of business affairs.

(Pictured: “Jack Ryan”)

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