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David Nevins Steps Down as Head of Showtime at Paramount Global

”The good news is that it’s not immediate and I’ll be helping to figure out the details of the transition,“ Nevins wrote in a memo to staff Thursday

David Nevins has stepped down from his role as Chief Content Officer of Scripted Originals for Paramount+, and Chairman and CEO of Showtime Networks.

Nevins announced his departure after 12 years at the company in a memo sent to staff Thursday. In the memo, he assured that his exit is “not immediate” and he will stay on through the end of the year “to figure out the details of the transition.”

“Over the past several months I’ve come to the conclusion that I am ready for the next phase of my life and my career. The industry is transforming rapidly, and I am genuinely excited about what the future holds,” he wrote.

Nevins, who has led the premium cable network since 2016, exits as Paramount Global is considering new content strategies in the streaming era — including the possibility of phasing out Showtime altogether and shifting its high-end programming like “Billions” and “Yellowjackets” into the Paramount+ streaming platform.

Nevins’ responsibilities will be divided between Chris McCarthy, who runs other linear cable networks such as MTV and Comedy Central, and Tom Ryan, who overseas Paramount’s streaming division.

In August, the company reported that Paramount+ had 43.3 million subscribers worldwide and a total of 64 million across all of its streaming platforms, including Showtime, Noggin and BET+. There was no individual breakdown for Showtime, though the service lost 500,000 subscribers in the first quarter of 2021, according to CEO Bob Bakish.

Read Nevins’ full memo below:

Dear Team,

I am writing this morning, so you hear the news from me that I’ve made the decision that the time is right for me to step down from my post atop the premium group at the end of the year.

The good news is that it’s not immediate and I’ll be helping to figure out the details of the transition.

I am tremendously grateful for the past 12 years and the varying positions I’ve held at this company. It has truly been one of the great joys of my life to get to do what I love to do with all of you. Together, we’ve accomplished an enormous amount. Year after year, we’ve managed to make and launch shows that defined the zeitgeist, that excited, delighted, and moved our audiences, and that received adulation and awards from our peers.

Love of good storytelling, being excellent, showing up and being passionate about what you do, that is what all of you have brought to the table day in and day out. When I spent a year abroad in Glasgow during college, I studied film for the first time and the kids there truly could only dream of being able to tell stories on such a grand scale to a world-wide audience. I realized the great privilege of being American was that after graduating I could take my grandmother’s old Buick, drive to LA and give the dream a shot — no green card required. And you all have helped make that dream a reality.

Most of all, I’m so proud of the team we’ve put together. To those of you who predate my arrival, to those of you who have joined in the past decade and to those of you who I’ve had the pleasure of working closely with only since the merger: thank you. We’ve built a culture of integrity, respect, collaboration, and risk-taking creativity. Together we’ve transformed our entire business model over the past few years. And we’ve been able to attract some of the most talented creative people on the planet to come work with us.

I am also immensely thankful for the support of Bob and Shari as well as my colleagues on Bob’s leadership team. Their personal commitment to the success of this company and the achievement of our individual goals are what you can only hope for from your leadership.

So why now? Quite simply, over the past several months I’ve come to the conclusion that I am ready for the next phase of my life and my career. The industry is transforming rapidly, and I am genuinely excited about what the future holds. Most importantly, the leadership team led by Jana Winograde, Gary Levine, Scott Mills and Nicole Clemens are more than ready. The 2023 slate is set, and I believe the coming year’s schedules from Showtime, BET, and Paramount Television Studios are going to be the most ambitious and exciting group of shows we’ve ever put out in a single year. I can’t wait to watch it happen.

Know that I will be here during this transition to support each of you to the best of my ability. I very much look forward to our continued relationships because at root that’s what’s best about working in this industry: the relationships we build with each other. That and the sheer joy of serving our audiences with stories that glue them to their screens.

Thanks to all of you.

David