ViacomCBS is beginning its first round of layoffs since merging less than a week ago.
The NY Post reports the media company behind Showtime and Nickelodeon is swinging the ax at CBS’ finance department, which is housed in the network’s Midtown Manhattan headquarters building known as Black Rock.
The exact number of layoffs could not be determined, but one source characterized it as a “handful of people.” Insiders said the newly beefed-up company also is expected to slash jobs in its administrative and back-office divisions in an effort to eliminate duplication.
CBS declined to comment.
Separately on Tuesday, CBS let go of at least a half-dozen staffers under its Entertainment Tonight umbrella as it merged the celebrity news show’s Web site and live-streaming network, known as ET Live.
Those cuts did not affect staff of the TV show and were not related to the merger, but reportedly included ET Live hosts Tanner Thomason and Jason Carter.
The layoffs come a day after ViacomCBS Chief Executive Bob Bakish said he hired the real estate investment firm CBRE Group to evaluate its real estate holdings, including a sale of its 36-story Black Rock headquarters. Backish is seeking to reduce the newly combined company’s fat in an effort to help it compete in the age of Netflix.
A major selling point of the $25 billion merger — led by Shari Redstone, the media heiress whose family controls CBS and Viacom — was the estimated $500 million in cost savings that could be wrung out of the combined companies.