WASHINGTON (dpa-AFX) - CBS Corp. (CBS-A, CBS) agreed to merge with Viacom Inc. (VIA, VIAB) to make ViacomCBS Inc., thus ending years of on-and-off attempts two combine the world's two leading entertainment companies.
The combined company will be a scale player globally, with leadership positions in markets across the U.S., Europe, Latin America and Asia. This includes the largest television business in the U.S., with the highest share of broadcast and cable viewing across all key audience demographics, and strength in every key category, including News, Sports, General Entertainment, Pop Culture, Comedy, Music and Kids.
In addition, the combined company will possess a portfolio of fast-growing direct-to-consumer platforms, including both subscription and ad-supported offerings. It will also include a major Hollywood film studio, Paramount Pictures.
Shari Redstone, whose family controls both companies, will become chairman of ViacomCBS Inc. She will oversee the media conglomerate originally founded by her father Sumner Redstone. Viacom Chief Executive Officer Bob Bakish will become the new CEO.
Bakish said: 'Today marks an important day for CBS and Viacom, as we unite our complementary assets and capabilities and become one of only a few companies with the breadth and depth of content and reach to shape the future of our industry.'
The Board of Directors will consist of 13 members: six independent members from CBS, four independent members from Viacom, the President and CEO of ViacomCBS and two National Amusements, Inc. (NAI) designees.
Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX