Fri, Dec. 2, 7:33 AM| Fri, Dec. 2, 7:33 AM | 5 Comments
Wed, Nov. 16, 3:33 AM
- Possible sticking points have emerged ahead of negotiations between CBS and Viacom (VIA, VIAB) about a potential merger, including who will be on the board of the combined company and what it would be called, sources told Reuters.
- Many investors and observers believe a deal could be announced by the end of the year and that CBS Chief Executive Leslie Moonves will run the merged entity.
Tue, Nov. 15, 12:25 PM
- Viacom (VIA -0.9%, VIAB -0.9%) has a deal to acquire Argentina's Television Federal from Telefonica (TEF -3.7%), for $345M.
- The deal's all cash. Reports from two weeks ago had the two talking about a deal in the range of $385M.
- Viacom gets an "outstanding broadcast and production business" in the deal, says acting CEO Bob Bakish, who came up through the company's international ranks.
- Telefe hits 95% of households in Argentina, which has a population of 43M, and has a 33% viewership share. It also makes more than 3,000 hours of Spanish-language content each year.
Mon, Nov. 14, 2:25 PM
- Doctor Strange is piling on to Disney's (DIS +0.4%) record studio 2016, repeating atop the box office for the second week with fairly strong legs and $43M.
- The Marvel film outgrossed the $35M from Trolls (FOX +1.1%, FOXA +1%) and brought its domestic total to $153M and a robust worldwide gross of $492.6M. Trolls held up strong in its follow-up week, dropping just 25% W/W. Overall, the box-office weekend was up 56% Y/Y, according to Box Office Mojo.
- Paramount's sci-fi film Arrival (VIA +1.3%, VIAB +1%) made the strongest debut, coming in third with $24M, easily surpassing Universal's Almost Christmas (CMCSA +1.7%), with $15.6M.
- Disney now has its best year ever at the domestic box office, with $2.3B surpassing the previous high from last year.
Thu, Nov. 10, 7:23 PM
- Speaking to the DealBook Conference, Shari Redstone -- currently part of the ownership urging CBS (CBS -0.5%) and Viacom (VIA +0.4%, VIAB +0.1%) to look into a merger -- says she never supported the two companies' splitting up in the first place.
- A decade ago, Sumner Redstone (who controls CBS and Viacom through family holding company National Amusements) decided to divide the two into separate companies, and while CBS has thrived, Viacom has wrestled with falling ratings and declining ad sales.
- "I was never a great proponent of the split of the two companies," Shari said, adding that Viacom's fate could have turned out better with different leadership (i.e., not now-ousted chief Philippe Dauman).
- While she and Sumner are supporting a merger, the companies "can stand on their own and be great," she said.
Wed, Nov. 9, 6:58 AM
Tue, Nov. 8, 4:42 PM
- PlayStation Vue, the streaming TV service from Sony (SNE +0.8%), is kicking out Viacom (VIA -0.6%, VIAB -0.6%) this weekend, and adding some new channels instead.
- The service is losing all the Viacom networks (which include MTV, Comedy Central and Spike) as of Nov. 11.
- "As part of our ongoing evaluation of the PlayStation Vue offering, we have determined that removing the bundle of channels from Viacom is the best way for us to continue to offer the most compelling value to our fans," says Vue chief Dwayne Benefield.
- Meanwhile, tomorrow the service is adding BBC America and NBA TV, and says that "Vice and more local broadcast stations from CBS and Fox" are coming soon.
Mon, Nov. 7, 2:09 PM
- Time to bring in the help: CBS (CBS +0.9%) has hired Moelis and Goldman Sachs (GS +2.8%) to advise it on a potential re-merger with Viacom (VIA +2%, VIAB +1.9%), The Wall Street Journal reports.
- The companies, which originally merged in 2000 and split again at the beginning of 2006, had created special committees to look at the idea of getting back together as National Amusements -- the holding company for Sumner Redstone that owns voting control of both -- urged the two to examine a deal.
- Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, which has been longtime outside counsel for CBS, is also advising on a potential deal.
- Previously: Report: Viacom-CBS could have merger deal by Thanksgiving (Oct. 20 2016)
- Previously: Bloomberg: CBS nears hiring of Goldman, JPMorgan on possible Viacom deal (Oct. 14 2016)
Fri, Nov. 4, 1:14 PM
- Cable network Epix has re-upped Mark Greenberg as its president and CEO with a new agreement.
- Epix -- a joint venture between Viacom (VIA +0.5%, VIAB +0.6%), Lions Gate (LGF +12.7%) and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer -- has been the fastest growing premium entertainment service for the past five years, SNL Kagan says.
- The network has been a pioneer about cross-platform launches, becoming the first to be available on Xbox, PlayStation and Roku.
- Greenberg has been at the helm of the network for seven years.
Thu, Nov. 3, 10:42 AM
- Viacom (VIA +2.5%, VIAB +2.8%) is in discussions to buy Argentina's Television Federal from Telefonica (NYSE:TEF), for as much as $385M, Reuters reports.
- A deal, which would need an OK from regulators, could come this week (or fall apart).
- International moves have provided the high points for struggling Viacom of late. The company just finished naming its international business chief Bob Bakish as acting CEO.
- Previously: Incoming Viacom chief Bakish to get $12M target pay (Nov. 01 2016)
- Previously: Viacom taps international chief Bakish as acting CEO/president (Oct. 31 2016)
Tue, Nov. 1, 6:49 PM
- The incoming acting chief of Viacom (VIA -2.5%, VIAB -2.3%), Bob Bakish, is set to get two salaries due to the dual roles he'll be holding, at least for now.
- He's set to get at least $12M in annual compensation for taking over the company's top executive role -- with a base of $2.5 or $500K monthly, whichever ends up greater -- as well as a separate, $2.75M salary in his role as head of the company's Global Entertainment Group.
- The company made him the leader of that unit on Monday with a slight rearrangement, and he'll replace Tom Dooley as acting CEO on Nov. 15. And the number of months that he serves at the top may depend on a potential re-merger with CBS, for which controlling shareholder Sumner Redstone and his family are pushing.
- Bakish's pay is well below that of ousted chief Philippe Dauman, whose exit could cost the company up to $95M.
Mon, Oct. 31, 5:07 PM
Mon, Oct. 31, 4:23 PM
- With Tom Dooley departing his interim position atop Viacom (VIA -0.1%, VIAB -0.1%), the company has named Bob Bakish its acting president and CEO effective Nov. 15.
- Bakish is currently CEO of the company's International Media Networks business; he's been with Viacom since 1997. He's also being named to a slightly new role and organization, as president and CEO atop the Viacom Global Entertainment Group.
- That new unit combines the International Media Networks with Music and Entertainment Group, and incorporating TV Land and CMT. Meanwhile, the Kids and Family Group is being re-established as the "Nickelodeon Group" to exploit the success of the company's children's programming. BET will function as a separate, dedicated group.
Mon, Oct. 31, 3:26 PM
- Tyler Perry continued to rack up scary sums as Boo! A Madea Halloween (LGF +1.6%) held the weekend's box-office crown against a disappointing home debut in Tom Hanks' Dan Brown film series.
- Inferno (SNE -0.8%), the follow-up to 2006's The Da Vinci Code and 2009's Angels & Demons, drew just $15M to finish No. 2 against Madea's $16.7M. That's well off the $77M The Da Vinci Code opened with domestically, but Inferno has already drawn $132.7M from international openings.
- Similarly, Doctor Strange -- the latest entry in the Marvel (DIS -1.2%) Cinematic Universe -- won't open in the U.S. until Friday, but drew $86M in overseas openings.
- Rounding out the top five films: Jack Reacher: Never Go Back (VIA flat, VIAB -0.3%) was No. 3 with $9.6M; The Accountant (TWX +1.2%) No. 4 with $8.48M; and Ouija: Origin of Evil (NASDAQ:CMCSA) fifth with $7.1M.
Thu, Oct. 27, 4:03 AM
- Viacom (VIA, VIAB) is close to naming longtime executive Bob Bakish interim chief executive officer as the company explores a possible merger with CBS, Bloomberg reports.
- While the decision isn't final, Bakish will have the opportunity to become permanent CEO.
- A graduate of Columbia Business School, he has worked at Viacom since 1997 and has run the company's international networks since 2011.
Wed, Oct. 26, 2:40 AM
- Media mogul Sumner Redstone is suing two ex-girlfriends for civil claims including elder abuse, marking the latest litigation surrounding the 93-year-old billionaire.
- Redstone alleges he was forced to borrow $100M from National Amusements, the private company that holds his voting shares of CBS and Viacom (VIA, VIAB), to cover the tax obligations on gifts he gave the women.