Paramount CEO Bob Bakish Says “We Remain Hopeful For A Timely Resolution” To Writers & Actors Strikes

Bob Bakish, CEO of Paramount Global, has found himself on his second earnings call discuss a strike in Hollywood.

“I’d like to take a moment to address the issue that is top of mind for all of us. The ongoing writers and actor strikes. were saddened that as an industry, we couldn’t come to an agreement that would have prevented this. Our partnership with the creative community is critical to the health of our industry, so we remain hopeful for a timely resolution, and we are committed to finding a path forward. At the same time, we have a responsibility to minimize disruptions to our audiences and other constituents,” he said.

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This comes after the WGA and the AMPTP failed to reach an agreement to resume contract negotiations after a meeting on Friday.

While the company revealed that free cash flow would be “significantly” higher as a result of cost-savings, it didn’t put a number on that, in the way that Warner Bros. Discovery did by saying it saved around $100M as a result of both strikes.

CFO Naveen Chopra said, “We estimate free cash flow in the back half of the year will be significantly higher than previously expected” due to strike-related shuttered projection.

Bakish, who called out the success of Paramount+’s latest Taylor Sheridan series Special Ops: Lioness, also pointed out the way it was using series such as Yellowstone to bulk out CBS’ fall slate.

“The slate illustrates the strength of our global multi-platform asset base and strategy. And it’s one of the ways we’re staying nimble,” he added.

Bakish also talked up its international original series. He said that there are 85 international originals already produced, in production or greenlit for Paramount+.

This includes British drama The Gold, Sexy Beast, an adaptation of the classic British gangster film and Korean series including crime thriller Bargain, Queen Woo and A Bloody Lucky Day.

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