People/Biz

Viacom, CBS reunite after decade-long split as “historic” merger closes

The long-awaited tie up of CBS and Viacom completed on schedule Wednesday (Dec. 4),  just four months after the National Amusements-owned media companies inked a deal to reunite. The “content powerhouse” ...
December 5, 2019

The long-awaited tie up of CBS and Viacom completed on schedule Wednesday (Dec. 4),  just four months after the National Amusements-owned media companies inked a deal to reunite.

The “content powerhouse” brings the companies’ respective brands – including CBS, Showtime, Nickelodeon, MTV, BET, Comedy Central and Paramount Pictures — under a single roof for the first time since splitting in 2006.

ViacomCBS will be home to more than 140,000 premium TV episodes and 3,600 film titles, with global production capabilities and more than US$13 billion in annual content investment.

CBS president and acting CEO Joe Ianniello becomes chairman and CEO of CBS. Shari Redstone, National Amusements president, will be appointed chair of the merged entity.

Its content scale will support a “robust streaming strategy,” ViacomCBS stated in a release, including the media giant’s own suite of advertising and subscription-based offerings.

The company will account for 22% of TV viewership in the U.S., with a presence in markets across Europe, Latin America and Asia.

“This is a historic moment that brings together two iconic companies to form one of the world’s most important content producers and providers,” Bob Bakish, president and CEO of ViacomCBS said in a statement. “Through the combination of CBS’s and Viacom’s complementary assets, capabilities and talented teams, ViacomCBS will create and deliver premium content for its own platforms and for others, while providing innovative solutions for advertisers and distributors globally. I am excited about the opportunity we have to serve our audiences, creative and commercial partners, and employees, while generating significant long-term value for our shareholders.”

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for HMV.com. As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.

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