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Paramount plans to trim size of its board amid merger talks

By Bill Peters

The media conglomerate's disclosure follows report of board-member departures amid Skydance discussions

Paramount Global on Thursday said it plans to trim the size of its 11-member board of directors to seven, as it continues exclusive merger talks with Skydance Media.

The disclosure from the entertainment giant, made in a proxy filing, comes a day after the Wall Street Journal reported that four directors - Dawn Ostroff, Nicole Seligman, Frederick Terrell and Rob Klieger - would likely leave Paramount's (PARA) (PARAA) board in the weeks ahead as discussions over a deal continue.

The Journal reported that "at least one" of those directors had reservations about a merger with Skydance. The publication noted that Seligman, Ostroff and Terrell were on a committee charged with seeking the best deal for Paramount.

In its filing on Thursday inviting investors to attend the company's annual shareholder meeting on June 4, Paramount said: "Effective as of the Annual Meeting, the size of the Board will be reduced to seven directors."

Among the items up for a vote at the June meeting is the election of the remaining seven directors. Ostroff, Seligman, Terrell and Klieger were not among the nominees listed by Paramount.

Those that were listed as board nominees include controlling shareholder Shari Redstone - the daughter of the late media mogul Sumner Redstone and the head of National Amusements Inc., which owns most of Paramount - and current Paramount CEO Bob Bakish.

If a deal with Skydance were to go through, it would be the latest sign of the entertainment industry's efforts to consolidate and cut costs, as it pushes for stronger streaming deals and profits in the aftermath of last year's Hollywood strikes.

Shares of Paramount gained 7.3% in Thursday's regular trading and were ticking down nearly 0.4% after hours.

-Bill Peters

This content was created by MarketWatch, which is operated by Dow Jones & Co. MarketWatch is published independently from Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal.


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

04-11-24 1835ET

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