Layoffs have hit the ad sales ranks in the CBS owned-and-operated TV station portfolio as a long-term restructuring effort takes effect.
Tuesday’s cuts come after new ad sales staffers were hired over the past three months. The exact number of employees affected could not be determined, but sources told Deadline the net number of departures across recent hires and other staffers is about 17 people, one in each of the markets where the 28 CBS-owned stations are based. A number of ad sales positions also remain open.
The layoffs are confined to the ad sales divisions of the stations and are part of a year-long restructuring, sources tell Deadline.
Company reps did not respond to Deadline’s request for comment.
The workforce reduction comes several months after Wendy McMahon was named to a new role, President and CEO of CBS News and Stations and CBS Media Ventures. She leads all of CBS News’ broadcast and streaming operations, plus local television stations, local news streaming channels and CBS Media Ventures first-run syndication programming. She also oversees content licensing to television stations and the division’s national ad sales business.
Parent company Paramount Global has faced challenges lately in its overall advertising business, which includes the CBS stations. In its third-quarter earnings report, the company said ad revenue in its TV Media division fell 14% from the year-earlier period due to “continued softness in the global advertising market and lower political advertising.” In 2024, political races are expected to boost local TV stations to record levels of ad revenue.
Advertising has posted growth in Paramount’s streaming unit, unlike in linear TV, as more viewing shifts in that direction. CBS local stations are available via subscription streaming outlet Paramount+.