Viacom and CBS merger to close next week

Consolidation of the media giants expected to close on 4 December, with Viacom CEO Bob Bakish taking the reins

Written by Rhys Thomas

Posted 27.11.2019 | Entertainment

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The merger between Viacom and CBS to create a new combined company is set to be wrapped up in time for Christmas.

Consolidation of the two media giants, both already part of the Redstone family’s National Amusements media empire, is expected to close by 4 December, creating a new business called ViacomCBS.

Viacom’s current CEO Bob Bakish will take the same role at the head of ViacomCBS, while his CBS counterpart Joe Ianniello will become Chairman and CEO of CBS, overseeing all CBS-branded assets.

Leading ViacomCBS’ licensing business will be Pam Kaufman, currently president of Viacom/ Nickelodeon Global Consumer Products. She will serve as president of Global Consumer Products, overseeing the company’s licensing and consumer product business, including merchandising, retail sales, consumers insights and marketing.

The merger will combine both company’s major entertainment brands, including Nickelodeon, MTV, Paramount Pictures and more under one umbrella. 

But despite the increased scale in output and IP-ownership, the combined company will still lag somewhat behind Disney, WarnerMedia and other major rivals – and that’s without taking into account the influence of Netflix, Amazon’s growing streaming business, and Apple’s new streaming service.

Analysts predict the ViacomCBS will look to snap up a major entertainment company in the near future to cement its position. Early speculation places Discovery and Sony Pictures in the ViacomCBS’ sights.

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