BREAKING: Marc Evans has replaced Adam Goodman as President of Paramount Pictures Motion Picture Group, as expected. The spot was left vacant only for a short while before the 12-year veteran stepped into the role. The promotion is effective immediately and he will report to Paramount’s chairman and CEO Brad Grey. Evans has served as the studio’s President of Production since 2010. He joined Paramount Pictures in 2003 as Vice President of Production before his numerous promotions. So Paramount brass promoted from within.
Goodman had been the job for six years and had a year left on his contract when he was pushed out the door last about four weeks ago. Gee, can anyone count how many people have gone through that post over the years? Immediately when the rumors began about his departure, several other executives around town immediately arose as possibilities for the spot including Sony execs Doug Belgrad and Michael DeLuca and the ones everyone always puts up for seemingly any post in town — Scott Stuber and Mary Parent (who is producing movies at the studio), but those rumors had died down of late and the job was expected to go to Evans. The question remains now who might take the top production post but it is expected that everyone will just get bumped up a notch.
Evans is one of the more amiable executives in town and has a good relationship with a lot of the top filmmakers around. He is an insider and has worked on a number of the biggest studio franchises over the years including the Mission: Impossible, Star Trek, Transformers and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
Paramount has been making fewer and fewer movies at the studio — it won’t have a film until July when Terminator: Genisys is released. And its production slate is meager in number compared to other studios (like Fox or Uni) and when a studio does that, it usually denotes a strategy to minimize risk to themselves and, believe me, people are saying that around town. The studio is now talking about ramping up and with Evans at the helm those stronger filmmaker relationships can’t hurt. The studio, which six weeks ago released another Spongebob Squarepants movie (it’s grossed $154M to date), also plans to produce more animated features.
The changing of the guard at Paramount comes as Viacom is restructuring and laying of executives across all divisions over the past few weeks, including about 40 at Paramount. The layoffs also affected MTV Networks — as much as 12% of MTV’s staff were affected. Sister network VH1 also was hit with pink slips throughout marketing, promotion, design and public relations. TV Land wasn’t spared either.
Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman told investors at Deutsche Bank Media, Internet & Telecom Conference a week ago that the layoffs and restructuring initiatives are part of a plan to save $250 million a year. Most of the cutbacks, he said, “will be largely done by the end of the month.” He described 2015 as “a transitional year.”
The company plans to develop more original shows and abandon programming that was acquired years ago, saying it doesn’t work in the current business model that has seen Netflix and Amazon enter the market.