David Ellison’s Skydance Media to Merge with Paramount Global

Ellison’s deal ends over three decades of the Redstone family’s controlling stake in the Hollywood studio.


What’s old is new again — New Paramount, that is.

That’s the name of the new entity formed by the merger of powerhouse entertainment companies Paramount Global and Skydance Media, which was announced on Monday. The merger builds upon a 14-year era of collaboration between the two studios, run by the Redstone and Ellison families, respectively, co-producing films such as those in the “Mission: Impossible” and “Transformers” franchises.

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Paramount’s subsidiaries include major studios such as Paramount Pictures, CBS Studios, CBS Sports, Showtime and Nickelodeon. The company is based in Midtown Manhattan, but is known largely for the iconic Studios at Paramount on Melrose Avenue in Hollywood, Calif.

Alongside the merger, the transaction also includes Skydance’s acquisition of Paramount’s majority stakeholder, National Amusements, for about $2.4 billion. National Amusements is run by Shari Redstone, whose family has controlled Paramount since the late 1980s. The Redstones, along with the Murdochs who control News Corp., are considered to be the real-life inspiration behind the fictional HBO series “Succession.”

New Paramount will be led by Skydance founder and CEO David Ellison and former NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell. Ellison, who formed Skydance in 2010, will serve as chairman and CEO, while Shell will serve as president.

“Our hope is that the Skydance transaction will enable Paramount’s continued success in this rapidly changing environment,” Shari Redstone said in a statement. “Skydance knows Paramount well and has a clear strategic vision and the resources to take it to its next stage of growth.”

Along with unifying the studios’ intellectual property, in-house talent and digital platforms, the merger also includes Skydance’s gaming development studios, dubbed Skydance Interactive, as well as its existing partnership with the National Football League

“This is a defining and transformative time for our industry and the storytellers, content creators and financial stakeholders who are invested in the Paramount legacy and the longevity of the entertainment economy,” Ellison said in a statement.”

Nick Trombola can be reached at NTrombola@commercialobserver.com.