This article needs additional citations for verification. (June 2020) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
ViacomCBS Inc. is an American diversified multinational mass media conglomerate and formed through the merger of the second incarnation of CBS Corporation and the second incarnation of Viacom on December 4, 2019, which were split from the first incarnation of Viacom in 2006.
|Founded||December 4, 2019|
|Headquarters||One Astor Plaza,|
|Revenue||US$27.812 billion (2019)|
|US$4.273 billion (2019)|
|US$3.270 billion (2019)|
|Total assets||US$49.519 billion (2019)|
|Total equity||US$13.289 billion (2019)|
Number of employees
The company's main assets include the Paramount Pictures film and television studio, CBS Entertainment Group (consisting of the CBS television network, television stations, and other CBS-branded assets), domestic networks (consisting of U.S.-based basic and premium-tier cable television networks including MTV, Nickelodeon, BET, Comedy Central, and Showtime), international networks (consisting of international versions of domestic ViacomCBS networks as well as region-specific networks), the Pluto TV ad-supported television streaming service, and the Simon & Schuster book publisher.
Headquartered at One Astor Plaza in Midtown Manhattan, New York City, the company operates over 170 networks and reaches approximately 700 million subscribers in approximately 160 countries, as of 2020.
In 1952, CBS formed CBS Films, a division which handled syndication rights for CBS's library of television series. This division was renamed CBS Enterprises Inc. in January 1968, and again renamed Viacom in 1970. In 1971, this syndication division was spun off amid new FCC rules forbidding television networks from owning syndication companies. (The rules were abolished completely in 1993.) In 1986, Viacom was acquired by its present owner, theater operator company National Amusements. In 1987, Viacom brought MTV Networks (former Warner-Amex Satellite Entertainment). In 1994, Viacom acquired Paramount Communications. In 1999, Viacom made its biggest acquisition to date by announcing plans to merge with its former parent CBS Corporation (the renamed Westinghouse Electric Corporation, which had merged with CBS in 1995). The merger was completed in 2000, resulting in CBS reuniting with its former syndication division. On January 3, 2006, Viacom was split into two companies: CBS Corporation, the former's corporate successor and the spun-off Viacom company.
On September 29, 2016, National Amusements, the parent company of CBS Corporation and Viacom, wrote to Viacom and CBS encouraging the two companies to merge back into one company. On December 12, the deal was called off.
On January 12, 2018, CNBC reported that Viacom had re-entered talks to merge back into CBS Corporation, after the merger of AT&T-Time Warner and The Walt Disney Company's proposed acquisition of most of the 21st Century Fox's assets were announced. Viacom and CBS also faced heavy competition from companies such as Netflix and Amazon. Shortly afterward, it was reported that the combined company could be a suitor for acquiring the film studio Lionsgate. Viacom and Lionsgate were both interested in acquiring The Weinstein Company. Following the Weinstein effect, Viacom was listed as one of 22 potential buyers that were interested in acquiring TWC. They lost the bid, and on March 1, 2018, it was announced that Maria Contreras-Sweet would acquire all of TWC's assets for $500 million. Lantern Capital would later acquire the studio.
On March 30, 2018, CBS made an all-stock offer slightly below Viacom's market value, insisting that its existing leadership, including long-time chairman and CEO Les Moonves, oversee the re-combined company. Viacom rejected the offer as too low, requesting a $2.8 billion increase and that Bob Bakish be maintained as president and COO under Moonves. These conflicts had resulted from Shari Redstone seeking more control over CBS and its leadership.
Eventually, on May 14, 2018, CBS Corporation sued its and Viacom's parent company National Amusements and accused Redstone of abusing her voting power in the company and forcing a merger that was not supported by it or Viacom. CBS also accused Redstone of discouraging Verizon Communications from acquiring it, which could have been beneficial to its shareholders.
On May 23, 2018, Les Moonves explained that he considered the Viacom channels to be an "albatross," and while he favored more content for CBS All Access, he believed that there were better deals for CBS than the Viacom deal, such as Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Lionsgate, or Sony Pictures. Moonves also considered Bakish a threat because he did not want an ally of Shari Redstone as a board member of the combined company.
On September 9, 2018, Les Moonves exited CBS following multiple accusations of sexual assault. National Amusements agreed to make no proposal of a CBS-Viacom merger for at least two years after the date of the settlement.
On May 30, 2019, CNBC reported that CBS Corporation and Viacom would explore merger discussions in mid-June 2019. CBS's board of directors was revamped with people who were open to merging; the re-merger was made possible with the resignation of Moonves, who had opposed all merger attempts. The talks had started following rumors of CBS acquiring Starz from Lionsgate. Reports said that CBS and Viacom reportedly set August 8 as an informal deadline for reaching an agreement to recombine the two media companies. CBS announced to acquire Viacom as part of the re-merger deal for up to $15.4 billion.
On August 2, 2019, it was reported that CBS and Viacom agreed to merge back into one entity. Both companies came to an agreement on the management team for the merger, with Bob Bakish serving as CEO of the combined company with president and acting CEO of CBS, Joseph Ianniello, overseeing CBS-branded assets. On August 7, 2019, CBS and Viacom separately reported their quarterly earnings as the talks about the re-merger continued.
On August 13, 2019, CBS and Viacom officially announced their merger; the combined company was to be named ViacomCBS, with Shari Redstone serving as chair. Upon the merger agreement, Viacom and CBS jointly announced that the transaction is expected to close by the end of 2019, pending regulatory and shareholder approvals. The merger must be approved by the Federal Trade Commission.
On October 28, 2019, the merger was approved by National Amusements, which then announced the deal would close in early December; the recombined company will trade its shares on NASDAQ under the symbols "VIAC" and "VIACA" after CBS Corporation delist its shares on the New York Stock Exchange.
On November 25, 2019, Viacom and CBS announced the merger would close on December 4 and begin trading on NASDAQ on next day. On December 4, 2019, Bakish confirmed that the ViacomCBS merger had closed.
On December 10, 2019, Bakish announced that ViacomCBS would look to divest Black Rock, the building that held CBS's headquarters since 1964. He stated, "Black Rock is not an asset we need to own and we believe that money would be put to better use elsewhere." On December 20, 2019, ViacomCBS agreed to acquire a 49% minority stake in film studio Miramax from beIN Media Group for $379 million. As part of the purchase, Paramount Pictures reached a long-term deal for exclusive distribution rights to its library, and first-look agreements to co-develop new film and television projects based on Miramax-owned properties.
On March 2, 2020, executive vice president Dana McClintock announced that he would depart the company after 27 years in CBS Communications. On March 4, the company announced plans to potentially sell its Simon & Schuster publishing unit, with Bakish arguing that it lacked a "significant connection for our broader business.”
On June 19, 2020, Jaime Ondarza, formerly the senior vice president of Turner Broadcasting South Europe and Africa, became the new head of ViacomCBS Networks International for France, Spain, Italy, the Middle East, Greece and Turkey.
On August 4, 2020, ViacomCBS announced that the connected video advertising platform EyeQ is set to launch in this fall.
On September 14, 2020, ViacomCBS announced an agreement to sell CNET Media Group to Red Ventures for $500 million. The deal will include the eponymous CNET tech site, as well as ZDNet, GameSpot, the TV Guide digital assets, Metacritic, and Chowhound. The deal was closed on October 30, 2020.
On November 17, 2020, Vivendi, Penguin Random House and HarperCollins had considered acquiring Simon & Schuster for as much as $1.7 billion. ViacomCBS expected the bids to be placed before Thanksgiving 2020 (November 26). On November 25, 2020, Penguin Random House agreed to purchase Simon & Schuster for $2.175 billion, pending regulatory approval.
ViacomCBS comprises four major units:
- CBS Entertainment Group consists of CBS-branded assets, including the CBS television network, CBS News, CBS Sports, CBS Studios, CBS Media Ventures, Big Ticket Television, CBS Television Stations, and CBS Interactive, which includes the CBS All Access subscription video-on-demand service. The unit also has a 50% interest in The CW television network joint venture co-owned by AT&T subsidiary WarnerMedia through its Warner Bros. division.
- Domestic Media Networks encompasses the pay television channels provided in the United States, such as MTV, Nickelodeon, Showtime, BET, Comedy Central, TV Land, Paramount Network, Logo, CMT, Pop TV, Smithsonian Channel, VH1, The Movie Channel, and Flix. ViacomCBS Domestic also controls production facilities for the channels listed above, including Nickelodeon Animation Studio.
- International Networks encompasses certain international versions of the company's domestic channels, as well as region-specific networks, such as Channel 5 in the United Kingdom, Network 10 in Australia, and Telefe in Argentina. ViacomCBS International also owns a third of the Rainbow S.r.l. television studio in Italy, as well as a 49% stake in the Viacom 18 joint venture with TV18. This unit also includes all CBS-branded channels across Europe, which are co-owned with AMC Networks International.
- Global Distribution Group focuses on the global distribution of all programs produced by all ViacomCBS production studios. The division consists of ViacomCBS International Studios.
Other assets owned by ViacomCBS are the Paramount Pictures film and television studio, over-the-top ad-supported video-on-demand platform Pluto TV, book publisher Simon & Schuster, multi-genre online video conference VidCon, Bellator mixed martial arts promotor, and media and entertainment company AwesomenessTV. As of November 2019, AwesomenessTV is overseen by its co-founder Brian Robbins, an executive for ViacomCBS Domestic. The company has an undisclosed stake in FuboTV, acquired in 2020.
|Formerly||Viacom International Inc. (1976–2020)|
ViacomCBS International was founded in 1976 as Viacom International Inc. It is a subsidiary responsible for copyrights and trademarks associated with its corporate websites and its cable networks, specifically the Domestic Media Networks division, and the division which licenses the product rights for their various properties. Prior to 1986, Viacom International was the parent company of Viacom Enterprises, and CBS's in-house output pre-1972. Before the first 1999 CBS merger, it also acted as the first Viacom's licensee company for Viacom's owned television stations; for instance New Britain, Connecticut station WVIT, currently an NBC owned-and-operated station for the Hartford market owned by Viacom from 1978 until 1997, took their call letters from Viacom International. Since the second merger between Viacom and CBS in 2019, this subsidiary has been renamed as ViacomCBS International in 2020.
- "SEC Filing - ViacomCBS Inc". ir.viacomcbs.com.
- Sherman, Alex (August 12, 2020). "Sumner Redstone handed a media empire to his daughter, Shari, who now controls its fate". CNBC.
Shari owns the other 20% through a separate trust.
- "ViacomCBS (VIAC)". Forbes.
- "CBS and Viacom Reveal December Merger Date – Mark Your Calendars". November 25, 2019.
- D. Croteau; W. Hoynes (2006). The Business of Media: Corporate Media and the Public Interest. Thousand Oaks, California: Pine Forge Press. pp. 100–101.
- Szalai, George (September 29, 2016). "National Amusements Proposes Viacom, CBS Reunion, Cites "Substantial Synergies"". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved October 13, 2016.
- "Shari Redstone withdraws CBS-Viacom merger proposal". CNBC. December 12, 2016. Retrieved December 17, 2016.
- Wang, Christine (January 12, 2018). "Viacom, CBS shares surge after report Shari Redstone pursuing merge of companies". CNBC. Retrieved January 12, 2018.
- Busch, Anita; Chmielewski, Anita (January 17, 2019). "Lionsgate Ripe For Takeover As Amazon, Verizon and CBS-Viacom Emerge As Potential Suitors". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved January 19, 2018.
- "Weinstein Co Talking to 22 Buyers, $300 Million Expected Price, Bob Weinstein Must Exit". The Wrap. October 26, 2017. Retrieved October 26, 2017.
- Ryan Faughnder (March 1, 2018). "Former Obama administration official has reached a deal to buy Weinstein Co. assets". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 2, 2018.
- Chmielewski, Dawn (March 2, 2018). "TWC Board, New York AG Confirm Maria Contreras-Sweet Group Has Acquired Weinstein Company Assets". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved March 2, 2018.
- "Moonves vs. Redstone: Inside the Poisonous War for Control of CBS and Viacom". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 11, 2018.
- Littleton, Cynthia (April 11, 2018). "Could CBS-Viacom Strife Cause Leslie Moonves to Walk Away?". Variety. Retrieved April 11, 2018.
- "CBS Sues Redstones' Firm in Escalation of Longstanding Fight". Bloomberg L.P. May 14, 2018. Retrieved May 14, 2018.
- Chmielewski, Dawn C. (May 14, 2018). "National Amusements Fires Back at CBS Suit, Says It's "Outraged" By Allegations". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 14, 2018.
- Chmielewski, Dawn C. (May 14, 2018). "Verizon Expressed Interest in Acquiring CBS Before Viacom Talks Heated Up". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 26, 2018.
- Bond, Paul (May 23, 2018). "Behind Leslie Moonves' Crusade to Save CBS From Viacom". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved May 26, 2018.
- Parker, Ryan (September 9, 2018). "Leslie Moonves Exits CBS After Being Accused of Sex Crimes, Violence by More Women". The Hollywood Reporter.
- James, Meg (May 30, 2019). "CBS and Viacom merger negotiations expected to resume". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 2, 2019.
- Munson, Ben (July 16, 2019). "CBS, Viacom set early August deadline for remerger agreement – report". FierceVideo. Retrieved July 20, 2019.
- Littleton, Synthia (July 19, 2019). "CBS, Viacom Boards Wrestle With Post-Merger Management Decisions, Ending COO Role (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved July 20, 2019.
- "How a Merged CBS-Viacom Could Try to Compete with Hollywood Giants". The Hollywood Reporter. July 19, 2019. Retrieved August 7, 2019.
CBS' plan to acquire Viacom for up to $15.4 billion could be announced Aug. 8, giving its controlling shareholder the ability to leverage IP like 'Star Trek' across film and TV to better compete with Disney, Netflix and the rest.
- "CBS, Viacom Reach Tentative Deal on Team to Lead Combined Company". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved August 3, 2019.
- Lafayette, Jon (August 7, 2019). "CBS-Viacom Deal Won't Make Deadline". Broadcasting Cable.
- Bouma, Luke (August 7, 2019). "CBS & Viacom's Merger Announcement is Reportedly Delayed as Talks Continue". Cord Cutters News.
- Gasparino, Charles; Moynihan, Lydia (August 13, 2019). "CBS, Viacom agree to merge, forming a $28B entertainment firm". Fox Business. Retrieved August 13, 2019.
- Szalai, George; Bond, Paul; Vlessing, Etan (August 13, 2019). "CBS, Viacom Strike Deal to Recombine". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 15, 2019.
- "CBS and Viacom To Combine" (PDF). CBS. August 12, 2019.
- Steinberg, Brian (October 28, 2019). "Viacom, CBS Set to Merge in Early December". Variety. Retrieved October 28, 2019.
- Weprin, Alex (October 29, 2019). "Viacom-CBS Merger Now Expected to Close in 'Early December'". Billboard. Retrieved October 29, 2019.
- "CBS Corporation and Viacom Inc. Announce Expected Closing Date of Merger". businesswire.com. November 25, 2019. Retrieved November 26, 2019.
- "CBS and Viacom Reveal December Merger Date – Mark Your Calendars". November 25, 2019.
- Weprin, Alex (December 4, 2019). "Bob Bakish's Memo to ViacomCBS Staff: Merger "A Historic Moment"". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 4, 2019.
- Weprin, Alex. "CBS' Historic New York Headquarters to Be Sold". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 10, 2019.
- Szalai, Georg (December 20, 2019). "ViacomCBS to acquire 49 percent stake in Miramax for $375 million". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 20, 2019.
- Patten, Dominic (March 2, 2020). "CBS Communications Chief Dana McClintock To Exit This Summer After 27 Years At Company". Deadline. Retrieved March 3, 2020.
- Baysinger, Tim (March 4, 2020). "ViacomCBS to Sell Publisher Simon and Schuster". TheWrap. Retrieved July 14, 2020.
- "ViacomCBS hires former Turner exec Jaime Ondarza for Europe role". TBI Vision. June 19, 2020. Retrieved June 24, 2020.
- Hayes, Dade (August 4, 2020). "ViacomCBS Sets Launch Of EyeQ, A Comprehensive Offering For Advertisers". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 4, 2020.
- Hayes (September 14, 2020). "Red Ventures acquires CNET Media Group from ViacomCBS for $500M". techcrunch.com. Retrieved September 14, 2020.
- Mullin, Benjamin (September 14, 2020). "WSJ News Exclusive | ViacomCBS to Sell CNET to Red Ventures for $500 Million". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved September 15, 2020.
- "Red Ventures Announces Closing of Acquisition of CNET Media Group". PR Newswire. October 30, 2020. Retrieved November 6, 2020.
- Goldsmith, Jill (November 17, 2020). "Simon & Schuster Bids Due by Thanksgiving; News Corp., Bertelsmann, Vivendi Contenders for ViacomCBS Publisher". Deadline. Retrieved November 28, 2020.
- Whitten, Sarah (November 25, 2020). "ViacomCBS Sells Simon & Schuster to Penguin Random House for $2 billion". CNBC. Retrieved November 28, 2020.
- "CW Network LLC profile". Bloomberg BusinessWeek. Bloomberg L.P. Archived from the original on March 8, 2016. Retrieved September 27, 2012.
- "Le Società italiane del gruppo Viacom" (PDF). Viacom International Media Networks. July 29, 2014. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 7, 2019.
- "TV18 to increase stake to 51% in Viacom18, the JV with Viacom Inc". Viacom18. January 31, 2018. Archived from the original on July 13, 2019. Retrieved January 31, 2018.
- James, Meg (November 10, 2019). "Viacom reorganizes creative team in advance of CBS merger". Los Angeles Times.
- "How ViacomCBS Has Sharpened Its Focus on Streaming Via Deals | Hollywood Reporter". www.hollywoodreporter.com. Retrieved January 7, 2021.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to ViacomCBS.|
- Official website
- Business data for ViacomCBS Class A:
- Business data for ViacomCBS Class B: