ViacomCBS Shares Plunge After Rebrand

Company is now called Paramount
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 16, 2022 1:39 PM CST
ViacomCBS Shares Plunge After Rebrand
ViacomCBS has taken the name of Paramount, one of its subsidiaries.   (PRNewsFoto/Paramount Pictures Corporation)

(Newser) – ViacomCBS is now known as Paramount, but investors don't seem be thrilled about the company's name change or its financial outlook: Deadline reports that the company's stock price nosedived 20% in trading early Wednesday, and it remains down nearly that much as of this writing. The company announced the name change in a memo to staffers Tuesday, the same day it held an investor event on plans to expand its Paramount Plus streaming service, reports Variety. "An iconic global company deserves an iconic global name," ViacomCBS chair Shari Redstone and president-CEO Bob Bakish wrote to staffers, saying the company would be known from Wednesday as "Paramount Global, or, more simply, Paramount."

Paramount Pictures, one of the company's subsidiaries, was founded in 1912. "For more than a century, the name Paramount has been synonymous with great entertainment and industry leadership. It's part of our history, as pioneers of the Golden Age of Hollywood," Bakish and Redstone said. They said the name would "capture the collective power of our global assets," including CBS, MTV, BET, Nickelodeon, Paramount Pictures, and more. Bakish told Variety that "ViacomCBS screams that we’re two companies, and we’re not, we’re one company."

At the investor event Tuesday, the company previewed new content including a live-action Sonic the Hedgehog series, the next Star Trek movie, and the return of Beavis and Butthead. Deadline has a full list here. Investors, however, were turned off by a sharp drop in earnings, with the expansion of the Paramount Plus streaming service wiping out earnings, reports Bloomberg. (Read more Paramount stories.)

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