Top local Paramount executive departs as cuts filter through media industry

One of the joint leaders of Network 10 owner Paramount’s Australian operations has exited the company after three years with the media giant.

Jarrod Villani, who joined the company in early 2021, was appointed co-lead alongside Ten’s long-time chief content officer Beverley McGarvey. McGarvey will stay on as sole boss in Australia.

Paramount’s chief content officer Beverley McGarvey and departing chief operating officer Jarrod Villani.
Paramount’s chief content officer Beverley McGarvey and departing chief operating officer Jarrod Villani.Credit: Flavio Brancaleone

The company announced a swath of global redundancies on Thursday.

Appointed as chief operating and commercial officer and co-lead, Villani was responsible for Paramount’s commercial activities and strategy in both Australia and New Zealand.

In early 2023, both Villani and McGarvey were promoted to executive roles within the company, with Villani becoming Australia’s regional lead reporting into Paramount’s international markets council, while McGarvey became head of streaming platform Paramount+ locally. Both retained their positions as co-executive vice presidents, alongside their other titles.

Paramount and Villani were contacted for comment.

One of Paramount’s top global executives, Maria Kyriacou, who oversaw the Australian market from London as global president of broadcast and studios, exited the company in January after four years, as global boss Bob Bakish announced the company was shifting its direction away from original international content.

An internal memo shared with staff in Australia on Thursday morning by Pam Kaufman, president and chief executive of Paramount’s international markets, said the cuts would help the company streamline its operations and reduce costs.

Advertisement

Part of the streamlining includes restructuring the company into global reporting lines, two senior network sources speaking on condition of anonymity due to the confidential details of the strategy told this masthead.

Paramount owns US television network CBS and British network Channel 5 alongside its global production studio.

Paramount owns Network 10 in Australia.
Paramount owns Network 10 in Australia.Credit: Lester Ranby

Villani was previously Queensland’s head of restructuring and Brisbane head of office at advisory and investment firm KordaMentha. He was one of the administrators appointed to Ten in 2017 as a partner of the firm, with the company later sold to CBS ahead of its own merger with Viacom. The company was later rebranded as Paramount.

Meanwhile, Nine has cut 22 roles in its sales division titled Powered, as the company becomes the latest to grapple with a challenged advertising market. Fifteen staff were affected by the redundancies, with several others redeployed. A Nine spokesperson confirmed the cuts to this masthead.

“The shape of Powered constantly adapts to the changing needs of our advertisers and partners. We have refocused Powered on strategy and insight, creative solutions, content partnerships and creative development. Whilst many things change, creativity and the power of big ideas will always be at the heart of advertising.”

Nine owns this masthead.

Powered is Nine’s marketing services team. The company will report its half-year results on February 22.

Several jobs have also been lost at Seven, following a move of its late-night news program, The Latest, from Sydney to Perth. A source within the company speaking anonymously due to the sensitive details said six or seven jobs were lost as a result of the move.

Profits at Seven West Media were down 53 per cent in the company’s half-year results on Tuesday, impacted by the tough advertising conditions.

The company’s chief financial officer and incoming CEO Jeff Howard said he and the company would act decisively to cut costs further if the prevailing market conditions continued.

Seven was contacted for comment.

The Business Briefing newsletter delivers major stories, exclusive coverage and expert opinion. Sign up to get it every weekday morning.

Most Viewed in Business

Source: Thanks smh.com