Viacom’s stock closed down 4.4% on Friday following a disappointing quarter in which the company missed Q1 revenue estimates as it faces concerns about inventory and fewer stock buybacks, as reported by Seeking alpha. Even as Viacom is making plans to launch a new streaming option for Nickelodeon, layoffs might be likely as the company tightens its belt.
CEO Philippe Dauman hinted at staff reductions when he said investors should expect, “substantial net cost savings throughout our organization, ” according to the Wrap (the euphemism for people getting sacked to investors, is of course, savings). The other option is programming reduction, even though it plans to create a new service that will show Nickelodeon programming under a new name. Viacom is going “over the top” with its service, an expression used by other cable companies, such as HBO, which are using direct-to-customer screening to improving ratings and usage.
Adding to worries was the absence of Chairman Sumner Redstone, who, according to SeekingAlpha, is also taking a pay cut to with compensation reduced to $13.2 million from $36.2 million in 2014. The fact he wasn’t present during the earnings conference raises worries about his health and questions about potential succession.