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Burrows to Leave Paramount

8 Dec, 2008 By: Chris Tribbey


Paramount Home Entertainment domestic president Meagan Burrows is leaving the company after 23 years, in the wake of Viacom’s companywide restructuring announced last week.

Burrows was EVP of sales and marketing before being named president of North American home entertainment in 2003. She was responsible for all domestic marketing, finance and planning for home entertainment product for the studio, as well as other Viacom-owned brands, such as BET, MTV, CBS and Comedy Central. Other PHE cuts included VP Chris Saito.

Viacom, which saw its earnings down 37% during the third quarter of this year, was careful about where cuts were made, said Viacom president and CEO Philippe Dauman at the UBS Annual Global Media Conference Dec. 8. “We have, over the last few months and weeks, looked at all our operations around the world [to] see where we have too many people performing certain functions,” he said. “We have done it in a way that doesn’t impact our strategy, doesn’t impact our content creation, does not impact our brand building.”

The 850 personnel cuts were across all of Viacom’s divisions, including VH1, MTV, LOGO, CMT and Nickelodeon. Salary increases for senior level management have also been suspended.

Dauman said that Paramount plans on releasing less than 20 films a year going forward, with a large focus on franchises. He said that revenue from mobile and VOD ventures is still small, and that content that’s already succeeded is where the money remains.

“If you have the right content, and you own it, there are many, many ways to derive revenue from it,” he said, specifically mentioning the recent “Godfather” Blu-ray Disc release. “We sold a lot of those and we’re making a lot of money on that movie, and we’ll continue to do so over many decades,” Dauman said.

Dauman also said a branding announcement will come soon regarding the premium entertainment joint venture being undertaken by Paramount, MGM and Lionsgate.

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