CBS, Viacom Boards to Discuss Merger: Report

The CEOs of CBS and Viacom have had a conversation about merging the two companies, and the companies’ boards are expected to discuss a potential combination at upcoming regularly scheduled meetings, according to a published report.

Both companies are controlled by the family of Sumner Redstone. His daughter Shari asked both companies to consider a merger last year, but the deal didn’t happen.

Citing sources familiar with the situation, Reuters reported that the discussion between the CEOs about a merger could be the first step toward recombining the companies.

CBS' Les Moonves has previously said that he wasn't in favor of a deal and that CBS has no need to get bigger. The conversation, which took place earlier this month, could be a sign he’s open to the idea.

The talk was described as preliminary and no decisions have been made about a deal.

CBS and Viacom separately will be holding board meeting in the next few weeks. The Reuters report said a merger will be discussed at those meetings.

After the report, CBS stock was up 0.68% to $59.27, and Viacom was up 1.45% to $33.61.

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.