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CBS on the Lookout for Viacom CEO

By William Vogeler, Esq. on January 08, 2019 12:57 PM

If the Viacom deal goes through, CBS reportedly wants a twofer for a CEO.

It may be premature -- because merger talks have been tabled -- but CBS is already talking to potential candidates about the job. The company wants someone who can run both companies.

The early start has something to do with the former chief executive at CBS. The board would like to put that one behind them as soon as possible.

The Moonves Problem

Les Moonves, the former CEO, had serious personal problems. He was ousted last fall under a cloud of sexual-harassment allegations.

According to reports, he was also in the way of a Viacom deal. In the meantime, National Amusements agreed not to approach CBS about a merger until 2021.

CBS, however, is not waiting around to move forward with a new chief executive. The New York Post said the company has already reached out to several candidates.

The plan is to hire one CEO to rule them all, and to announce the new hire along with the Viacom merger as early as spring. The plan should work because National Amusements has control of both companies.

'Most Likely' to Merge

Analysts say the merger is "most likely," if telecom rules are relaxed. CBS stock rose after the reports.

CBS stock has gained in the last eight trading sessions, and inched up another 1.1 percent on Monday. It has been a welcome change for the troubled broadcasting giant.

In the midst of the Moonves scandal, the stock fell 25 percent last year.

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