Viacom, CBS Directors Form Groups to Study Merger

CBS and Viacom, both controlled by the family of Sumner Redstone, said their boards of directors have established special committees to study combining the two companies.

National Amusements, the Redstone holding company, released a statement saying it “supports the processes announced by CBS and Viacom to evaluate a combination of the two companies, which we believe has the potential to drive significant, long-term shareholder value. National Amusements does not currently intend to make any further comments regarding the process.”

Legal counsel has been hired by the boards and they are in the process of retaining financial advisors.

Related: CBS Renews Carriage Deal With Sony PlayStation Vue

Reports that CBS and Viacom might combine have not been a hit with Wall Street analysts, particularly those that follow CBS. CBS CEO Les Moonves reportedly had been against a merger, but recently discussed the idea with Viacom CEO Bob Bakish, leading up to the board’s actions.

CBS and Viacom studied a combination last year but decided not to move forward.

Jon Lafayette

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.