Approximately 14 years after Viacom split into two companies—Viacom and CBS—the two media giants announced plans to merge. The merger will create a company, to be known as ViacomCBS Inc., with more than $28 billion in revenue. The deal is expected to be completed by the end of the year.
CBS is the parent company of Simon & Schuster. Under the planned merger, Joe Ianniello, president and acting CEO of CBS, will become chairman and CEO of CBS, overseeing CBS-branded businesses. However, S&S and Showtime, another company owned by CBS, will report to Bob Bakish, currently Viacom CEO, who will become the president and CEO of ViacomCBS.
The pending merger is likely to once again raise speculation that a ViacomCBS giant, which will include a movie studio, television network, streaming services, and cable networks among other asset, will look to sell S&S. In a memo to S&S employees, company CEO Carolyn Reidy acknowledged that there is likely to be many questions about the merger, adding that “we will do our best to answer and address them as soon as possible.”
Reidy said the creation ViacomCBS will bring change but also opportunity. "We will now be proudly associated with an even more formidable portfolio of brands and content," Rediy wrote." What doesn’t change is our status as a world-class global publishing company, with a list of award-winning, bestselling and rising authors, published by a staff of creative and hardworking professionals who every day make me proud and grateful to lead Simon & Schuster."
Reidy further noted: “We have always enjoyed tremendous support from Joe Ianniello and CBS, and in the coming months I look forward, with my leadership team, to working with Bob and our new colleagues, some of whom we remember from our previous years as part of the Viacom family.”
This story has been updated.