A CNBC report has indicated that CBS and Viacom are expected to begin long-awaited merger talks by the middle of June.
The companies were brought together in 2000 and split up again in 2006, with this reunification of the Redstone family media empire having been expected for years but was held up by a corporate legal battle between current controlling shareholder Shari Redstone and former CBS head Leslie Moonves.
Moonves was ousted last Fall amid the revelation of disturbing sexual misconduct allegations. Litigation was settled, CBS’ board of directors were overhauled and now the consolidation that Redstone has been after can begin. Viacom president-CEO Bob Bakish is expected to run the combined entity which aims to better compete against larger media rivals and tech giants.
The combined unit would include Viacom’s properties like Paramount Pictures, Paramount Television, MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, CMT, BH1, TV Land and BET with CBS Corporation’s such as CBS itself and its news, films, TV, sports, publishing and local media divisions. CBS also owns CNET, Showtime, Pop, half of The CW and Australia’s Network 10.