Shari Redstone Thanks Paramount Employees for ‘Your Support of My Family and Me’ in Emotional Farewell Note

The Redstone family has owned Paramount since 1994, and struck a deal to sell to Skydance Media

shari redstone
Shari Redstone (Getty Images)

Shari Redstone, who closed a deal to sell Paramount Global on Sunday night to Skydance Media, wrote an emotional note to employees thanking them for their devotion to the historic Hollywood studio, and for supporting her and her family.

“I wanted to take this opportunity to reach out to you directly not only to share the news, but to express my tremendous gratitude to each and every one of you for what we have been able to accomplish together for the past several decades.,” Redstone wrote.

“I want to express my deepest thanks to you for your commitment, hard work, and most importantly your support of my family and me. Against a challenging industry backdrop and many changes at the company, you have protected Paramount’s assets and delivered for our audiences.”

Redstone called out Paramount’s theatrical position with eight #1 movies in the past two years, the growth of Paramount+ and the huge success of Taylor Sheridan’s “Yellowstone” universe. Paramount is one of Hollywood’s most prized properties, with a century of iconic titles including “The Godfather” trilogy, “Titanic,” “Forrest Gump” and the “Mission:Impossible” series among many others.

The Redstone family has owned Paramount since Shari Redstone’s father Sumner bought the studio in a bidding war in 1994, besting other media titans Barry Diller and John Malone. At the time Paramount was owned by Gulf+Western, and the company became part of Redstone’s Viacom.

Redstone ruled the CBS-Paramount roost until 2016, when at 92 and fighting allegations of dementia he had to step aside, leaving his daughter to step in. Sumner Redstone died in 2020.

Paramount Global, which includes not only the movie studio but also CBS, Paramount+, MTV, Nickelodeon and Pluto, has been controlled by the Redstone family through the National Amusements Inc holding company, which owns the vast majority of Class A shares.

Read Shari Redstone’s full note here:

 Good evening. Just moments ago, it was announced that we have entered into an agreement under which Skydance Media will acquire National Amusements and merge Skydance’s business with Paramount Global. I wanted to take this opportunity to reach out to you directly not only to share the news, but to express my tremendous gratitude to each and every one of you for what we have been able to accomplish together for the past several decades. As you know, my father built Viacom and CBS by bringing together a group of the best assets in media, news, and entertainment. While people often debated whether content or distribution ruled the day, my father was governed in all of his decisions by his belief that content was indeed king. That has never been more important than it is today, when in a cluttered marketplace, we continue to create content that resonates with our consumers, that they continually seek out, and that keeps them wanting more. Our success is because of you, what you have done individually, and even more importantly, as a team. Seeing the way you have come together since we launched Paramount Global has been one of the highlights of my years at this company, and your accomplishments are evident across the business. Paramount+ is among the fastest-growing streaming services with an exceptional range of content appealing to all demographics. CBS has been the #1 broadcast network for 16 years and running, with clear strength across genres. Paramount Pictures has produced eight #1 movies in the past two years alone and continues to create hit after hit. Our linear networks have delivered culture-shaping content that excites audiences, including the launch of the “Taylor Sheridan universe” with Yellowstone on the Paramount Network. And, Pluto TV is today the most widely distributed FAST service.   As all this was accomplished, we remained dedicated to educating and informing ourselves and our audiences in our efforts to fight hate and discrimination, and supporting other important causes in the US and around the world. I am so grateful to all of you for what we have been able to accomplish to make a difference.  Our family has always been committed to continuing my Dad’s legacy and ensuring Paramount’s enduring success. Consistent with that, as the pace of change in the industry has continued to accelerate, it has been our responsibility to work with leadership to make changes in order to maintain our competitive position and fuel growth, thinking of both the near and longer term. Most recently, this led to the appointment of George Cheeks, Chris McCarthy, and Brian Robbins as Co-CEOs, to take the meaningful actions necessary to bolster the Company both operationally and financially. I think we can all agree on their enormous contributions to this company. At the same time, as you know, our Board has focused on ensuring we are pursuing all opportunities to best position the Company for the future and maximize value creation for all shareholders. As a longtime production partner to Paramount, Skydance is well aware of what we have accomplished over the years and it is for that reason that they have pursued a combination with Paramount. They have a clear strategic vision for the future and the resources to build on Paramount Global’s competitive advantages to drive the Company’s success.  The agreement we entered into today is subject to closing conditions, and we expect the deal to be completed in the first half of 2025. Until then, George, Chris, and Brian will continue to lead the Company, and they will be sharing more with you shortly. I of course will also be here to cheer you on, and assist in any way that I can. It has truly been my honor to work with all of you these past several years, and to see so many of our dreams come to fruition. I want to express my deepest thanks to you for your commitment, hard work, and most importantly your support of my family and me. Against a challenging industry backdrop and many changes at the company, you have protected Paramount’s assets and delivered for our audiences. As I have said before, and I will always say, we have the best people in the business here at Paramount and it is truly a privilege to work with you. I will always treasure the relationships I have had with you and the ways we have worked together to distinguish ourselves in our industry.  All the best, Shari  

Comments

One response to “Shari Redstone Thanks Paramount Employees for ‘Your Support of My Family and Me’ in Emotional Farewell Note”

  1. Witness to history Avatar
    Witness to history

    Once again, it’s Shari “All About Me” Redstone. You squandered your family legacy and are just scraping up the ashes, albeit those ashes are still valued in the billions. I was a Paramount employee and am an investor in that same company of which I was so proud to be a part of. Unfortunately, I had so much misguided trust in the ownership and management of Paramount that I will lose almost everything that I invested. I doubt I’m the only one who will say that I don’t support you , I clearly don’t respect you and I don’t accept your thanks. Why, might you ask? Because you will walk with billions doesn’t mean you are a success. It means that you will walk with many billions less, perhaps tens of billions less than you could have because of your arrogance and incompetence. Once again, you were fortunate to have inherited something yet unable to manage it. Go to your island retreat so we never have to hear from you again.

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