Since the proposed merger of major media companies Viacom and CBS was confirmed in August of this year, details as to the new arrangements within the joint company have slowly been revealed. Most recently, the company has announced its new team of financial executives led by CFO Christina Spade, formerly CFO of CBS.
The new financial team for ViacomCBS will be led by four executives, all who previously held roles on the financial teams of either Viacom or CBS. These include David Byrne as SVP of Corporate Finance, Kathy Gill-Charest as EVP, Controller and Chief Accounting Officer, Rich Jones as EVP, General Tax Counsel and Chief Veteran Officer, and Jim Morrison as SVP and Treasurer. In a statement from ViacomCBS, Spade expressed her enthusiasm and confidence in the abilities of her team: “These experienced leaders will work to ensure that ViacomCBS operates in an efficient and strategic manner that further strengthens our financial position.”
ViacomCBS also recently announced the details of its stock offerings on the NASDAQ, though the company might not find as many investors as it may have hoped. According to a report from Deadline, “Investors don’t appear entirely persuaded the merger will succeed.” The article notes that ViacomCBS shares have lost value since the merger was announced.
Though the merging of these two media companies may seem like a monopoly, it is unlikely at this point that the merger will be stopped by the U.S. government given the current administration’s approach to antitrust issues. The Justice Department lost a challenge to the AT&T takeover of Time Warner just last year, and it was recently announced that the Department would be repealing the Paramount Decree of 1948, loosening antitrust regulations even further and “changing legal precedents that have shaped the movie-going experience since World War II.” The impact of these massive mergers on the entertainment industry remains to be seen.