The merger of Simon & Schuster parent company CBS with Viacom was completed yesterday afternoon. The new ViacomCBS will have combined sales of about $28 billion and will include, among other assets, a movie studio, television network, streaming services, and cable networks, as well as S&S. The merger was first announced in August and reunites the two corporations following their split into two separate companies 14 years ago.
In a conference call in early November discussing S&S’s third quarter results, S&S CEO Carolyn Reidy told PW she didn’t believe the merger had been a distraction to S&S employees. Despite the fact that ViacomCBS executives hope to save $540 million in costs in 2020 by combining Viacom and CBS, Reidy pointed out that Viacom has no book publishing group, which she believes means that if there are to be any personnel cuts to come, they will likely be minimal. Noting that S&S has worked with both CBS and Viacom on a range of different types of projects, Reidy said she expects the merger to provide the publisher with access to more “content and talent.”
As part of the new company, S&S and Showtime, another company owned by CBS, will report to Bob Bakish, who had been Viacom CEO and who is now president and CEO of ViacomCBS.