CBS, Viacom Near Merger Price as Talks Continue

The boards of CBS and Viacom met during the weekend trying to hammer out a price at which the two companies shares will be exchanged in order to complete a long-anticipated merger, according to reports.

Both companies are controlled by the family of Sumner and Shari Redstone, and Shari Redstone has been in favor of combining them for some time in order to have the scale to compete in a rapidly changing media environment.

According to reports, some issues have been resolved.

Bloomberg reports that the composition of the new company’s board will consist of 13 members, with six coming from CBS and four from Viacom. Shari Redstone would be the chair of the board.

Last week it was reported that Viacom CEO Bob Bakish would be CEO of the combined companies while CBS’s acting CEO Joe Ianniello will be in charge of the CBS-branded assets.

The two companies had hoped to complete a deal by last Thursday, when Viacom and CBS each reported quarterly earnings but negotiations dragged on past that deadline.

Both companies reported higher profits and discussed similar strategies in terms of looking to ramp up production of programming and growing their direct-to-consumer services.

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.