After years of discussions, CBS and Viacom will merge under the combined name of ViacomCBS Inc. The merger reunites the two entities that have operated separately for the past 13 years and includes well-known media brands such as Paramount Pictures, CBS, Showtime and MTV.
Viacom CEO Bob Bakish will become President/CEO of the combined company. “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 in a release. “Our unique ability to produce premium and popular content for global audiences at scale – for our own platforms and for our partners around the world – will enable us to maximize our business for today, while positioning us to lead for years to come.”
Joe Ianniello, President and Acting CEO, CBS, will become Chairman and CEO of ViacomCBS, overseeing all CBS-branded assets. Christina Spade will serve as Executive VP and Chief Financial Officer, while Christa D’Alimonte is now Executive VP, General Counsel and Secretary.
The new company’s board of directors will have 13 members: six independent members from CBS, four independent members from Viacom, the President and CEO of ViacomCBS and two National Amusements (NAI) appointees. Shari Redstone, head of NAI, will be chair.
Redstone has campaigned for years to reunite the two entities. “I am really excited to see these two great companies come together so that they can realize the incredible power of their combined assets,” she said. My father [Chairman Emeritus Sumner Redstone] once said ‘content is king,’ and never has that been more true than today. Through CBS and Viacom’s shared passion for premium content and innovation, we will establish a world-class, multiplatform media organization that is well-positioned for growth in a rapidly transforming industry.”