As we reported two weeks ago, CBS and Viacom (parent company to Paramount Pictures) are once again closing in on a deal to re-merge, with the Star Trek TV and film franchise coming under roof cited as one of the benefits. Now it appears the parties have passed another key hurdle towards recombining.
Deal gets closer than ever
The last time Viacom and CBS were in talks to merge – in 2018 – the deal fell apart primarily due to an inability to agree to a new management team. The main issue at the time was the positions of Viacom CEO Bob Bakish and CBS COO Joe Ianniello. Now with former CBS CEO Les Moonves out of the picture, things appear to be easier.
Multiple sources including Reuters, Deadline and the Wall Street Journal are reporting that a tentative agreement has been made which puts Bakish at the top, as the CEO of the newly combined entity, with (now acting CBS CEO) Ianniello set to “to run the CBS assets in a senior role.” Reuters reports Ianniello will “oversee all CBS-branded assets, which will not include the Showtime cable network or book publisher Simon & Schuster.”
Next week, Thursday, August 8th, still remains a target date to finalize and announce a deal, but there are still some issues being worked out, notably the exact price at which CBS will acquire Viacom.
Recombining CBS and Viacom, which split back in late 2005, is seen as a potential first step for controlling shareholder Shari Redstone. According to CNBC, she is also eyeing other media companies to be brought into the fold including Sony Pictures and Discovery Communications.
This is a developing story and TrekMovie will provide any updates when there is more re-merger news.