CBS - CBS Corporation

NYSE - NYSE Delayed Price. Currency in USD
+0.42 (+0.96%)
At close: 4:02PM EDT
Stock chart is not supported by your current browser
Previous Close43.80
Bid44.24 x 800
Ask0.00 x 800
Day's Range44.03 - 44.86
52 Week Range41.38 - 59.56
Avg. Volume2,653,995
Market Cap16.607B
Beta (3Y Monthly)0.91
PE Ratio (TTM)5.44
EPS (TTM)8.13
Earnings DateOct 30, 2019 - Nov 4, 2019
Forward Dividend & Yield0.72 (1.64%)
Ex-Dividend Date2019-09-09
1y Target Est59.24
Trade prices are not sourced from all markets
  • ‘Free College’ a Tough Sell Even in State With Highest Student Debt

    ‘Free College’ a Tough Sell Even in State With Highest Student Debt

    (Bloomberg) -- Even in New Hampshire, where the nation’s highest percentage of young people graduate from college owing money, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders might have a hard time persuading voters of their plan to cancel all such debts and make public university free.To Sanders and Warren, New Hampshire is a must-win, given that they represent neighboring Vermont and Massachusetts in the U.S. Senate. But the student-debt issue is a microcosm of the challenge both candidates face selling their progressive vision in places where more moderate views prevail.A recent YouGov/CBS poll showed that 61% of Democratic voters in New Hampshire want tuition lowered through added government subsidies, but not free. Only 32% of New Hampshire voters favored tuition-free colleges, while 7% said higher education should cost students whatever the market allows.“When you put together free and college in the same sentence, that’s where you might see some disagreement among voters in New Hampshire,” said Dante Scala, a politics professor at the University of New Hampshire. “It’s fool’s gold to chase younger voters if at the same time you’re turning off a greater number of older, more moderate voters.”No. 1 in Graduating With DebtThe average student in New Hampshire, which holds its primary shortly after the first-in-the-nation Iowa caucuses in February, graduates with more than $34,000 in debt, the fourth- highest average in the nation. And 74% of students in the Granite State finish college with debt, the highest percentage in the nation, according to 2017 research by the Institute for College Access and Success.So it seemed only natural that Sanders and Warren would highlight their plans when they both did a swing through the state last week.“Anybody here dealing with student debt?” Sanders asked the crowd during a town hall in Wolfeboro. Almost a third of the people raised their hands.Warren drew on her own personal experiences to highlight the necessity for free education.“For me personally, I was able to get a four-year diploma without debt, because taxpayers had invested in a commuter college that would cost $50. That option is not there any more,” Warren told reporters in Franconia.Youth VoteWarren and Sanders are counting on progressive young New Hampshire voters who are expected to show up at the polls in large numbers. But the overall electorate skews older. Exit polls show young voters in New Hampshire only made up about 20% of the total electorate in 2016, while 60% was 45 and older.“There’s a generational fairness issue,” said Mark Huelsman, associate director of policy and research at think-tank Demos, which has advocated student-loan forgiveness.“The generation that is maturing politically is both dealing with student debt and for the first time dealing with the idea that they might have to pay for their kids to go to college,” Huelsman said, pointing out that the cost of higher education may still be an important issue for older voters who worry about financing the educations of their children or grandchildren.Other leading Democrats running for president offer some form of higher-education reforms, but none go as far as Sanders and Warren.Joe Biden, who a recent Suffolk University poll showed was leading in New Hampshire with 21%, released an education plan focused primarily on supporting teachers, as well as improving and simplifying the government’s existing Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program.Kamala Harris would establish a student-debt forgiveness program. And Pete Buttigieg, who with his husband, Chasten, carry a total of $130,000 in student debt, has said he doesn’t support free college.“I believe in reducing student debt. I also believe in free college for low and middle-income students for whom cost can be a barrier, I just don’t believe it makes sense to ask working-class families to subsidize even the children of billionaires,” Buttigieg said at the first Democratic debate in June.Some students in New Hampshire agree.“Getting rid of all debt for everyone, is not necessarily something I’m 100% a fan of because there is a lot of people out there who take out debt and do have the income to be able to afford it,” said Matt Gerding, a graduate student at the University of New Hampshire, who’s taken out $45,000 in loans for undergraduate and graduate school. “Warren’s plan is focused on those who need the help the most, which I like.”The Pay-ForsSanders’s $2.2 trillion plan would cancel all student debt in America, while making public universities free for everyone, regardless of ability to pay. His proposal would be financed by a 0.5% tax on stock transactions, a 0.1% tax on bond trades and a .005% tax on derivatives transactions.Warren’s $1.2 trillion plan, funded by a 2% tax on the assets of Americans worth more than $50 million, also calls for free public universities. But a Warren administration would cap loan forgiveness at $50,000 and would primarily target people who make less than $100,000 a year.The potentially good news for Sanders and Warren is that young voters have become increasingly active since President Donald Trump was elected.Voters between ages 18 and 29 overwhelmingly backed Sanders in 2016 by 83%. Younger voters in New Hampshire almost doubled their voter share in the 2018 midterm elections, compared to the previous midterms in 2014, according to TargetSmart, a Democratic data and strategy firm.“Younger voters are being driven by a number of issues, including student debt, so we’re seeing the Democratic field reacting to that and promoting progressive policies that will appeal to younger voters,” said Tom Bonier, TargetSmart’s chief executive officer. “Compared to 2016, when I think most voters didn’t take Trump’s candidacy seriously, I believe there will be a significant surge in intensity in 2020.”To contact the reporter on this story: Misyrlena Egkolfopoulou in Washington at megkolfopoul@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Joe Sobczyk at, Wendy Benjaminson, John HarneyFor more articles like this, please visit us at©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Motley Fool

    CBS and Viacom: It's Not Enough to Compete With Disney or Netflix

    The two companies have agreed to merge, but they need more intellectual property to be a major player in the streaming market.

  • Don’t make these 3 mistakes when you turn on your air conditioning

    Don’t make these 3 mistakes when you turn on your air conditioning

    In recent weeks, the National Weather Service issued heat watches and warnings and heat advisories. Extreme heat kills more than 600 Americans a year on average, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — so you can hardly be blamed for cranking up the air-conditioning during this heat wave. Residents of Sun Belt states typically pay the most to air condition their homes during the summer, with a median cost of $292.90 per home, according to a recent report from home-energy monitoring company Sense.

  • Motley Fool

    CBS and Viacom Finally Tie It Off

    After years of deliberation, the merger is finally approaching a close, and the entertainment world gets a little smaller.

  • Financial Times

    A selection of the FT’s biggest stories and best reads every Friday

    Hello from Washington, where things have gone quiet, with the US Congress in recess and the president on holiday at his New Jersey golf course. Then I headed to Des Moines, where the Democratic presidential candidates have been wooing voters over corn dogs at the Iowa State Fair and a rowdy annual fundraising dinner called the Wing Ding. Meanwhile, my colleagues this week have been covering the clashes between protesters and police at Hong Kong airport, WeWork’s plans for a blockbuster initial public offering and climate activist Greta Thunberg’s transatlantic ambitions.

  • Nervous Investors Punish GE, Netflix, and Viacom

    Nervous Investors Punish GE, Netflix, and Viacom

    Investors are fleeing stocks with just a hint of bad news. Small caps continued to underperform, and bond prices rose dramatically.

  • Benzinga

    Mario Gabelli Sees Good Value In CBS

    On CNBC's "Closing Bel,"  Mario Gabelli spoke about buying opportunities in the current market environment. He expects the market to decline 10% or 15%, which is a normal correction. Gabelli ...

  • Benzinga

    Analysts Waiting To See Whether ViacomCBS Will Do Better Than Viacom And CBS

    Wall Street analysts are taking a wait-and-see approach to the long-anticipated merger CBS Corporation (NYSE: CBS)-Viacom, Inc. (NASDAQ: VIAB) merger, questioning whether the combined companies will create a more profitable global streaming business together than each could have built on their own. BMO Capital Markets analyst Daniel Salmon downgraded CBS from Outperform to Market Perform and lowered the price target from $60 to $51. Barrington Research analyst James Goss reaffirmed an Outperform rating on CBS with a target price of $60.

  • CBS, Viacom to Merge: Media ETFs in Focus

    CBS, Viacom to Merge: Media ETFs in Focus

    After months of negotiations, CBS and Viacom have finally agreed to an all-stock merger, which will lead to the creation of a combined company with more than $28 billion in revenues.

  • CBS stock heads for worst day in 8 years after Viacom deal prompts downgrades

    CBS stock heads for worst day in 8 years after Viacom deal prompts downgrades

    CBS Corp.’s pending reunification with Viacom Inc. is eliciting strong reactions on Wall Street, with at least two analysts downgrading CBS’s stock after the merger announcement and one upgrading it.

  • Benzinga

    CBS, Viacom To Merge: What Comes Next?

    CBS Corporation (NYSE: CBS ) confirmed a merger agreement Tuesday with its sister company Viacom, Inc. (NASDAQ: VIAB ). CBS and Viacom share the same parent company, National Amusements, which is controlled ...

  • Company News For Aug 14, 2019

    Company News For Aug 14, 2019

    Companies In The News Are: GNW,JD,VIAB,CBS,GDS

  • Moody's

    CBS Corporation (Old) -- Moody's placed CBS's ratings on review for downgrade

    Moody's Investors Service ("Moody's") placed CBS Corporation's (CBS) ratings, including its Baa2 senior unsecured rating and P-2 Commercial Paper rating, on review for downgrade following the announcement that it has entered into a merger agreement with Viacom Inc. (Viacom) (Baa3 under review for upgrade). On August 13, CBS and Viacom agreed to merge in an all-stock transaction.

  • Thomson Reuters StreetEvents

    Edited Transcript of CBS earnings conference call or presentation 8-Aug-19 8:30pm GMT

    Q2 2019 CBS Corp Earnings Call

  • Shari Redstone Prepares for Streaming Wars With Viacom-CBS Union

    Shari Redstone Prepares for Streaming Wars With Viacom-CBS Union

    (Bloomberg) -- During her trip to the Allen & Co. mogul retreat in Sun Valley, Idaho, this summer, Shari Redstone prowled the grounds with just one executive from the media empire she controls: Jim Lanzone, CBS’s chief digital officer.Lanzone, who oversees dozens of web properties, helped build two businesses that will play a crucial role when CBS Corp. and Viacom Inc. complete their merger. The CBS All Access and Showtime streaming services, with more than 8 million subscribers, have delivered a rare bit of growth in a tough climate for old-line entertainment companies.Stirred to action by the unrelenting loss of pay-TV subscribers, media companies are racing to build online services that can compete with Netflix Inc. On Tuesday, Viacom and CBS announced they’ll merge, creating a $30 billion conglomerate and fulfilling a goal long-held by Redstone, who will chair the combine company. With the deal, she is reuniting parts of the empire assembled by her father Sumner and pinning her hopes on streaming to ensure the companies survive an uncertain moment in media.“Shari Redstone had a problem,” said Laura Martin, an analyst at Needham & Co. “CBS and Viacom are both sub-scale, and they are both hers.”Netflix, the biggest player in streaming, has more than 150 million subscribers, making All Access and Showtime minnows in the online world. The pioneer in streaming, Netflix offers thousands of titles, including a never-ending stream of new scripted series, movies, documentaries, specials, and a vast library of reruns.But together, Martin argues, Viacom and CBS “have a more reasonable chance of competing.”CBS has already built a small, profitable streaming business, relying on a few original scripted shows, a deep library and a live feed of its flagship network. A united ViacomCBS Inc., as the new company is to be called, will control 140,000 TV episodes and 3,600 movies, and will spend about $13 billion on programming annually, close to what Netflix lays out each year.Their combined library has breadth. CBS owns one of the largest archives of hit TV shows in the world, spanning “I Love Lucy,” “Star Trek” and “NCIS.” Viacom’s Paramount Pictures owns one of the largest movie libraries in the world, including “The Godfather” and “Mission: Impossible.” While CBS has a deep collection of sitcoms and scripted dramas, thanks to Showtime, Viacom owns kids shows through Nickelodeon.“Look at what this brings together,” Bob Bakish, who will be the chief executive officer of the combined company, said in an interview. “We have tremendous content scale here across categories, demographics, geographies.”Pluto TVBakish plans to use Pluto TV, an advertising-supported video service he acquired at Viacom, to funnel customers to the paid services. He will also bundle all of the company’s subscription services, including Viacom’s kids offering Noggin.Merging also opens international opportunities, where Netflix has an even larger lead. CBS already sells All Access in Canada and Australia, but could easily extend service to Europe and Latin America with help from Viacom’s Channel 5 in the U.K. and Telefe in Argentina.The merger isn’t without risks. Paramount is one of the weakest studios in Hollywood and has struggled to keep its library fresh with new hits. The studio accounts for just 5% of domestic box-office grosses this year.The new company may also need to take steps to keep the architects of CBS’s recent growth and other valuable executives, such as Lanzone, creative chief David Nevins, CBS Sports Chairman Sean McManus and recently appointed news chief Susan Zirinsky.And even with new heft, ViacomCBS will still be much smaller than most of its competitors. Of the major streaming services already in the marketplace or due out in the net 12 months, All Access and Showtime are the only ones owned by a company worth less than $100 billion.Over the past few years, entertainment companies and pay-TV distributors have responded to the challenges facing conventional media by consolidating into mega-corporations that dwarf CBS and Viacom. Walt Disney Co. bought most of Fox, while AT&T Inc. -- the parent of DirecTV -- purchased Time Warner, creating companies worth than $200 billion apiece. The combined ViacomCBS tips the scale at about $30 billion.Getting CrowdedThose larger companies, along with Apple Inc. and Comcast Corp., are crowding into streaming this year and next to compete with Netflix and Inc. That led analyst Martin to say 2020 will be “The Hunger Games” for the media industry -- a reference to the dystopian film where youngsters fight to the death.That’s why many analysts believe the CBS Viacom tie-up is just a prelude -- the first step in an effort to bulk up or cash out.“We certainly will look at opportunities in the marketplace,” Bakish said. “ViacomCBS is one of the companies that matters, and will get a valuation that fits with that.”To contact the reporter on this story: Lucas Shaw in Los Angeles at lshaw31@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Nick Turner at, Rob GolumFor more articles like this, please visit us at©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


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  • CBS to Merge With Viacom in Long-Awaited $11.7 Billion Deal

    CBS to Merge With Viacom in Long-Awaited $11.7 Billion Deal

    (Bloomberg) -- CBS Corp. agreed to merge with Viacom Inc. in an $11.7 billion transaction, capping years of on-again-off-again attempts to reunite two media giants that split in 2006.The all-stock deal, announced Tuesday, combines the most-watched U.S. broadcast network with the parent of Paramount Pictures and cable channels such as MTV and Nickelodeon. It followed marathon negotiation sessions this week as the two sides hashed out a price for the long-awaited merger.Shari Redstone, whose family controls both companies, will become chair of the combined entity, called ViacomCBS Inc. She’ll preside over the media empire originally assembled by her father, TV and movie magnate Sumner Redstone, who is now 96 and ailing.Viacom Chief Executive Officer Bob Bakish will lead the new business as CEO.“It creates a true powerhouse in media,” Bakish said in an interview. “One of the few companies that can shape the future of the business.”Joe Ianniello, currently acting head of CBS, will oversee the CBS side of the business. He took the helm last year after sexual-misconduct allegations toppled longtime CEO Les Moonves. Ianniello has signed a new contract that runs into 2021, according to a Viacom representative.Ianniello is a “tremendously talented executive,” Bakish said. “He has had a real and positive impact at CBS, including the recent period where he was put into place at a tricky time.”With the media industry consolidating ever further into a handful of giant companies, the transaction could give the combined entity much greater clout in negotiating deals with pay-TV distributors. It also could help them spread out the cost of content purchases like sports rights over larger operation.Bakish’s PitchNegotiations picked up steam in April, when CBS suspended its search for a new CEO and extended Ianniello’s contract as interim chief. Advisers, bankers and board members met to discuss the potential framework of a deal.In July, shortly after the Independence Day holiday, a subset of CBS board members invited Bakish to dinner at the 21 Club, a speakeasy in midtown Manhattan, to discuss his views on Viacom, CBS and a potential merger. They then invited Bakish to present his strategy to the full CBS board.Under the agreement that was ultimately hammered out, management expects to generate $500 million a year in cost savings within a year or two of the deal closing. The combined entity, valued at about $30 billion, will have more than $28 billion in sales.ViacomCBS will reduce costs by shedding real estate and cutting jobs, Bakish said.“But at the same time, this will create a company that truly matters,” he said.Stock DealCBS shareholders will get 61% of the combined company, with the remainder going to Viacom investors. Each Viacom share will convert into 0.59625 of a CBS share. The new business also will pay a “modest” dividend.CBS stock climbed 1.4% to $48.70 on Tuesday, with Class B shares of Viacom rising 2.4% to $29.21.CBS will receive six seats on the 13-member board, while Viacom gets four. Another two will go to National Amusements Inc., the Redstone family’s investment company, which has said it will vote its controlling stake in favor of the deal.The last time the companies were in merger discussions, more than a year ago, Viacom directors had agreed to take 0.6135 of a CBS share for every nonvoting share of their business, people with knowledge said at the time. The companies, using the code names “Comet” and “Venus,” had expected to save at least $1 billion by combining. But Viacom went through its own cost cutting in the interim. CBS shares, meanwhile, have dropped. They’ve lost about 18% since the beginning of 2018, as the broadcaster faced mounting challenges, including the ongoing competition for viewers with the likes of Netflix Inc. and the ouster of Moonves.This time around, the negotiations dragged on several days as the two sides worked out the details. The companies held round-the-clock negotiating sessions this week, according to people familiar with the talks.Previous TalksCBS and Viacom, both based in New York, were one entity until 2006, when the Redstone family decided investors would give them greater value as separate companies. That strategy didn’t work as well as expected, and there have been sporadic efforts to recombine them in recent years.CBS had been weighing its next moves since firing Moonves last September, after a dozen women accused him of sexual misconduct, setting off a shake-up that included a board overhaul. Ianniello, formerly chief operating officer, has been running the company as interim CEO ever since.CBS and Viacom have ties that go back to the 1970s. The latter was spun out of CBS in 1971, after the Federal Communications Commission ruled that TV networks couldn’t sell programs into syndication after the shows had completed their original run.Viacom became the vehicle that marketed reruns of “I Love Lucy” and “Gunsmoke,” and attracted the interest of Sumner Redstone as an investment. He acquired control of the company in 1987 and purchased CBS in 1999.Viacom is likely to look for more deals in the near future, Bakish said. The combined company will have robust cash flow and investment grade debt, enabling it to invest more money into programming and pursue deals.Viacom and CBS have been seen as possible deal partners for Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. and Discovery Inc. in recent years, though Bakish said there were no current conversations worth discussing.(Updates shares in 15th paragraph.)\--With assistance from Jeff Green, Gerry Smith, Christopher Palmeri and Ed Hammond.To contact the reporters on this story: Lucas Shaw in Los Angeles at;Nabila Ahmed in New York at nahmed54@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Liana Baker at, ;Crayton Harrison at, Nick TurnerFor more articles like this, please visit us at©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • 5 Top Stock Trades for Wednesday: S&P 500, AAPL, CBS, VIAB

    5 Top Stock Trades for Wednesday: S&P 500, AAPL, CBS, VIAB

    The markets surged higher on Tuesday as the White House will delay its latest rounds of tariffs. That sent stock markets ripping higher, as bulls cheer the latest move. Let's look at a few stocks that were catching our eye as our top stock trades. Top Stock Trades for Tomorrow No. 1: S&P 500 (SPY)The action in the S&P 500 is encouraging, with the index holding onto most of its morning gains. Framed on the chart above in black lines is the two-day trading range from the last big rebound on Aug. 8.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsThe Thursday-Friday range was important, as the S&P 500 -- as well as the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSEARCA:SPY) -- was stuck between the 50-day and 100-day moving averages.A break of either each had their own implications. In this case, a break of the 100-day put a decline down to the August lows and the 200-day moving average on the table. That was, unless the index was able to reclaim the 100-day, which it conveniently did on Tuesday.Now back over the 100-day, bulls need to push the index back over the 50-day and 20-day moving averages to regain control. If they do, 3,000-plus on the table. The steadily weakening VIX is also a feather in bulls' cap, although a close over 2,942 would help even more. No. 2: Apple (AAPL)Shelving the tariffs until mid-December is a big win for Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and it didn't take long for investors to realize it, bidding up Apple more than 4%. Shares briefly penetrated the vital $210 to $212 zone, but failed to hold above it.Bulls now need to push through this zone. If they can, it opens up the post-earnings highs of $220.50. If they fail to, AAPL needs to hold the 50-day on the downside.While Apple did pull back with the rest of the market, it's worth noting that bears weren't really able to crack this one too badly amid the correction. Keep it simple: Above $210 is great, above the 50-day is good and below the 50-day is bad. No. 3: CBS (CBS)The merger between CBS (NYSE:CBS) and Viacom (NYSE:VIA, NYSE:VIAB) is finally official, although the reaction is quite mixed. VIA stock (A shares) are down more than 6%, while VIAB stock (B shares) are up almost 2%. CBS stock is up ~1%.The problem though? CBS wasn't able to reclaim the 200-day and 20-day moving averages, with its intraday rally being sold into. Below the 200-day and prior uptrend support (black line) leaves $47 on the table.A merger is usually good news, but without shares showing much strength, I'm not too encouraged by the action. Below the May lows opens up a can of worms. No. 4: Viacom (B Shares) (VIAB)As for VIAB stock, it too failed to reclaim the 200-day moving average. What are the odds?Anyway, shares are just above range support between $27.50 and $28. So long as that's the case, bulls can justify a long position. However, below this mark opens up a decline down to $25. No. 5: Advance Auto Parts (AAP)Advance Auto Parts (NYSE:AAP) hit new 52-week lows in Tuesday's session after reporting its quarterly results. However, shares bounced hard off the lows and closed near flat for the session.That's constructive, although the new lows certainly aren't. The good news is, bulls now have a few upside levels to consider and a level to measure against on the downside.A close below the lows -- currently at $130.09 -- may very well usher in new lows. $130 is a reasonable stop-loss, although still below the 200-week moving average makes AAP a concern.Should it reclaim the 200-week, look for a possible rebound up to prior range support at $150. I suspect this level will act as resistance, but we'll have to wait and see if that's the case, assuming it even gets there in the first place.Bret Kenwell is the manager and author of Future Blue Chips and is on Twitter @BretKenwell. As of this writing, Bret Kenwell is long AAPL. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 10 Real Estate Investments to Ride Out the Current Storm * 7 Marijuana Penny Stocks to Consider for Those Who Can Handle Risk * 7 Safe Dividend Stocks for Investors to Buy Right Now The post 5 Top Stock Trades for Wednesday: S&P 500, AAPL, CBS, VIAB appeared first on InvestorPlace.

  • CBS-Viacom merger will 'diversify the streaming landscape': analyst
    Yahoo Finance

    CBS-Viacom merger will 'diversify the streaming landscape': analyst

    CBS and Viacom have agreed on a merger, to be named ViacomCBS, a deal that has been in the works since 2016 — and the combined company will have an edge in the competitive streaming landscape.

  • ViacomCBS is just the beginning of Shari Redstone's media deals

    ViacomCBS is just the beginning of Shari Redstone's media deals

    More than two months before CBS Corp and Viacom Inc succeeded at a third attempt to recombine, controlling shareholder Shari Redstone had already decided the new company needed to get bigger. "We would want to look at something after that to ... develop more scale as we move forward,” Redstone said at The Information's Women in Tech, Media and Finance conference in June. To the audience of executives in the Times Square high rise overlooking the storied Paramount building, it was clear that her ambitions went well beyond the hard-won reunion of the two companies her father, Sumner Redstone, put together and then pulled apart 13 years ago during a very different era in media.

  • CBS, Viacom make deal to re-merge
    American City Business Journals

    CBS, Viacom make deal to re-merge

    The two media conglomerates reached an agreement to combine in an all-stock merger on Tuesday, forming a combined company with more than $28 billion in revenue.

  • Benzinga

    CBS And Viacom Finally Announce A Merger Deal

    The merger was seen by both companies as a way to better compete in an entertainment business that has been racked by cord cutting and in which the move to streaming is seen as the wave of the future. It joins Viacom properties that include cable networks MTV, Nickelodeon, and Comedy Central, as well as the Paramount TV and film studio, with CBS, which brings to the table its broadcast TV network and the Showtime cable network. Bob Bakish, the CEO of Viacom, will become CEO of both companies, the companies said.

  • CBS and Viacom Reunite Just in Time for a Media Fight

    CBS and Viacom Reunite Just in Time for a Media Fight

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- The road to a merger of CBS Corp. and Viacom Inc. was winding and treacherous, featuring boardroom clashes, legal battles and a MeToo moment. But on Tuesday, after years of friction and back-and-forth, the two Hollywood companies officially agreed to reunite. It’s about time.  CBS is buying Viacom in an all-stock deal that values the company at about $18.5 billion including debt, formalizing a plan their controlling shareholder, Shari Redstone, has long pursued. The terms involve CBS exchanging 0.59625 a share for each Viacom share, and the new entity will be called ViacomCBS. The transaction puts CBS, the broadcaster, and Showtime, a premium cable channel, back under the same roof as Viacom’s networks, such as MTV, BET, Nickelodeon and Comedy Central, as well as the Paramount Pictures movie studio. Fourteen years ago, these businesses formed a single company. The endless melodrama that’s revolved around CBS and Viacom ever since provides important context in understanding why they need each other now.Beginning in the late 1980s, Shari Redstone’s father, the movie-theater mogul Sumner Redstone, spent what would normally be one’s retirement years snapping up media assets. Then, in 2006, he split his conglomerate in two. The reasons were just as ego-driven as they were business-minded, giving each of his two favorite successor candidates a company to run: Les Moonves with CBS and Showtime on one side and Tom Freston with Viacom and Paramount on the other. An elated Moonves said the move would resolve an internal “schizophrenia,” but it spawned a corporate-sibling rivalry. It wasn’t long before Redstone fired Freston (bizarrely, for not taking over the website MySpace), and Philippe Dauman was chosen as the next Viacom CEO, the one who would oversee its vicissitudes of fortune.Redstone called Dauman “the wisest man I have ever known.” He would often say Moonves was a “super genius.” He was wrong on both accounts. Under Dauman, Viacom’s cable networks lost popularity, and the movie business suffered steep losses, greenlighting small films with unjustifiably big budgets. CBS was the stronger sibling, and Moonves was considered especially skilled at crafting its programming lineup. However, Moonves was accused of abusing his power, fostering a culture of sexism, harassment and intimidation. Dauman was ousted in 2016; the MeToo movement ushered Moonves out two years later.Since then, Viacom has been staging a turnaround under CEO Bob Bakish, who will remain in his role as chief of the combined entity, working to deliver on the annual $500 million of promised cost savings. Shari Redstone, who stepped into her father’s shoes some time ago, will be the new chair of the board. Joe Ianniello, Moonves’s former No. 2 and interim successor, has worked to get back into Redstone’s good graces after CBS’s suit last year to strip her of her voting power. He will stay on as chairman and CEO of the CBS business, reporting to Bakish. It’s not the juicy ending fans of HBO’s “Succession” — a TV series partly inspired by the Redstones and other media moguls — would want or expect from CBS and Viacom, but it’s the civilized outcome the companies need so they can fight to stay relevant in their industry. Bakish’s track record makes him a solid pick to lead that charge, or perhaps dress up the new entity for a sale. A roll-up-your-sleeves-type manager, he’s injected life back into Viacom after many investors thought it was too far gone. He’s reduced the debt that was once a serious strain on the business, and he’s invested in growth opportunities, such as the advertising-supported Pluto TV streaming service. Paramount Pictures is making money again.Still, the years of dysfunction did its damage, and CBS and Viacom’s rivals only got bigger. Walt Disney Co. purchased the 20th Century Fox studio and other assets from Rupert Murdoch for $85 billion this year. That deal came on the heels of AT&T Inc.’s $102 billion takeover of Time Warner, the parent of HBO.(1) Discovery Inc. now owns former Scripps properties such as HGTV. Netflix Inc., meanwhile, has grown its global subscriber base to more than 150 million. My column last week explained in more detail why CBS and Viacom would benefit from greater scale, which saves them money and provides greater ability to negotiate with pay-TV operators and devise a more tenable streaming strategy.A combined CBS-Viacom may even be a merger candidate for Discovery next. There are similarities: Like Viacom, Discovery focuses on unscripted programming — or reality TV — and it’s controlled by a billionaire, John Malone, who at 78 is thinking about how to tidy up his estate. As owners of the also-rans of the industry, it may be time for Redstone and Malone to work out a deal. Starz, the premium channel owned by Lions Gate Entertainment Corp., another Malone investment, is an option as well. Sumner Redstone turned 96 in May and was deemed incapacitated by a judge last year amid litigation involving his trust. He is said to communicate using iPad prompts, including one that curses on his behalf; only those closest to the ailing billionaire know what button he pressed when he heard about the merger. But in April 2008, when Redstone was still able to participate in earnings calls, he said this:I think that Les [Moonves]'s strategy will work for CBS, and I think that Philippe [Dauman]'s strategy will work for Viacom. It is not true that success between these two companies is mutually exclusive.The irony is that his misplaced faith in those managers is why CBS and Viacom’s fates are intertwined once again.(1) Transaction values include debt.To contact the author of this story: Tara Lachapelle at tlachapelle@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Daniel Niemi at dniemi1@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Tara Lachapelle is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering deals, Berkshire Hathaway Inc., media and telecommunications. She previously wrote an M&A column for Bloomberg News.For more articles like this, please visit us at©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • MarketWatch

    CBS, Viacom stocks rally after all-stock merger deal announced

    Shares of CBS Corp. rallied 1.4% and of Viacom Inc. gained 1.3% in afternoon trading Tuesday, after the media and entertainment companies announced a deal to merger, creating a combined company--ViacomCBS Inc.--with more than $28 billion in revenue. Under terms of the much-anticipated all-stock merger, each Viacom Class A share will convert into 0.59625 Class A shares of CBS and each Viacom Class B share will convert into 0.59625 CBS Class B shares. At current stock prices, Viacom's market capitalization is $11.55 billion and CBS's market cap is $18.08 billion. The deal is expected to close by the end of 2019. The deal will add to earnings and is expected to deliver $500 million in annualized synergies with 12-to-24 months of the deal's closing. CBS shares have rallied 10.8% year to date and Viacom's stock has advanced 12.0%, while the S&P 500 has gained 16.8%.