Viacom Inc. and CBS Corp. agreed upon an executive team that would lead the combined company in the event of a merger, The Wall Street Journal reported Aug. 2, citing people with knowledge of the matter.
Viacom CEO Bob Bakish would lead the combined entity as chief executive, CBS CFO Christina Spade could become financial chief of the new company, a source reportedly said. CBS President and acting CEO Joe Ianniello, who earlier this year agreed to extend his role for six additional months through Dec. 31, would oversee all of CBS' assets at the merged company, according to the source.
Although it is unclear when the potential merger will formally proceed, both media giants are reportedly making progress and a deal could be announced before the end of the month.
Shari Redstone, who controls both companies through majority shareholder National Amusements Inc., previously encouraged the media conglomerates to explore a deal in 2016. Redstone made another play in the spring of 2018, before the companies engaged in a corporate governance battle.
In September 2018, CBS reached an agreement to settle litigation between CBS and majority shareholder National Amusements over control of the broadcaster.