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One Flew Over the RedBird Nest

david ellison
Although there are risks to the Ellison deal, it’s probably the easier deal for the special committee to swallow, all things considered. Photo: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for CinemaCon
William D. Cohan
April 28, 2024

On Friday, The Wall Street Journal reported that the Paramount Global board and Shari Redstone were considering replacing C.E.O. Bob Bakish with an interim leadership triumvirate during the pendency of the sale process. The following day, CNBC’s Alex Sherman reported that Bakish would be gone on Monday morning, and would not be present for the company’s earnings call later that day. Needless to say, replacing the C.E.O. of a company in the middle of a sale process is highly unusual. Even Logan Roy, had he not died, wouldn’t have conceived of such a wild scenario. 

Two weeks ago, I reported that the relationship between Shari and Bakish was “increasingly tense and complex” and that Bakish would be replaced if, say, the Ellisons got control of Paramount, with a new RedBird-led team consisting of David Ellison, Jeff Shell, and likely Jeff Zucker. And before that, on March 12, LightShed Partners’ Rich Greenfield wrote that Shari should fire Bakish “to save Paramount.” Rich is now running a poll on Twitter/X asking followers to vote on the Bakish defenestration odds. So far, 61 percent have suggested he’s toast. (After the CNBC report, Greenfield tweeted, “Welp guess this poll is moot!!!”)