After rumors of a possible CBS-Viacom reunion, the two media companies confirmed the reports today. CBS and Viacom have merged together to become ViacomCBS Inc.
The merger will promote the current CEO of Viacom, Bob Bakish, to CEO of ViacomCBS. “Today marks an important day for CBS and Viacom, as we unite our complementary assets and capabilities and become one of only a few companies with the breadth and depth of content and reach to shape the future of our industry,” Bakish said.
The acting chief executive of CBS, Joe Ianniello, will sit as chairman and CEO of CBS. “Because I know these assets so well, I know the most about them, it made sense to oversee those assets,” said Mr. Ianniello. “That made the most sense, and it allows me to get even closer to the business than I could as a C.E.O.”
The current president of CBS’s parent company National Amusements, Shari Redstone, had been working on a merger for at least three years between the two since its 2006 split. Redstone found it quite difficult to convince former CBS chief Les Moonves in favor of the merger. Last year, Moonves resigned after being accused of alleged sexual harassment. This left an opportunity for the deal to come through.
“I am really excited to see these two great companies come together so that they can realize the incredible power of their combined assets,” said Redstone. “My father once said ‘content is king,’ and never has that been more true than today.”
The merger will be leaving ViacomCBS with more than $28 billion in revenue due to the inclusion of multiple big named brands such as CBS’s broadcast network and its subscription streaming service, CBS All Access. Viacom’s Paramount, Showtime, MTV, Nickelodeon, BET, and Comedy Central will also be a part of the deal.
Research analysts at MoffetNathanson said, “CBS’s and Paramount’s production asset will quickly move up the ranks to challenge the big boys of Disney, Comcast, AT&T and Netflix and will be an attractive home for creative talent.”