The trend of media players teaming up to counter the threat of digital platforms is continuing, CBS and Viacom merging once again after a 13-year hiatus.
In a deal which is said to be worth $US30bn ($AU44.14), the merge will consolidate brands like MTV, Comedy Central and Paramount Pictures under the newly-labelled ViacomCBS banner.
Viacom CEO Bob Bakish will be the president and chief executive of the combined company, while CBS interim CEO Joe Ianniello will be named chairman and chief of CBS.
Whispers of the potential re-merger have been circulating years, with the unification expected to bring around $US500m ($AU735.68m) in savings.
The two companies had previously operated under the same umbrella before a split in 2006, led by Sumner Redstone.
And the latest move has led some to describe Redstone’s daughter Shari as ‘the most powerful woman in media’.
Set to control National Amusements, the holding company of the new firm, Shari Redstone will control the voting stock after having spent the last 13 years as vice-chair of both CBS and Viacom.
It is yet another example of traditional media players joining forces to counter the threat of digital platforms like Facebook and Google.
Locally, Nine and Fairfax last year completed a high profile merger tasked with bringing both companies millions in savings.
The Viacom/CBS deal also has ramifications here in Australia, with CBS having recently acquired Network 10.
With Viacom owning the likes of MTV and Paramount, the deal could potentially bring new content to the FTA broadcaster.
A Network 10 spokesperson told B&T, “this is a really exciting time for both companies and we’re looking forward to the many great opportunities the merger will bring locally.”
Finalisation of the merger is expected to take some months.
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