Moonves Weighs Risk to Legacy Amid Talk of CBS-Viacom Merger
CBS Chief Executive Officer Leslie Moonves laid low all summer, watching as the family that controls his company fought with the leadership of their other media giant, Viacom.
Mr. Moonves can shun the spotlight no more. The Redstones prevailed, ousting management at faltering Viacom last month, and are now pushing the companies to recombine. Shari Redstone, who has assumed her father Sumner’s leadership of the family business, told Viacom and CBS she would like Mr. Moonves to run the show, according to people familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified discussing private conversations.
A recombination could produce cost savings and help the companies contend with a changing media industry, National Amusements, the Redstone family holding company, said in a statement Thursday formally asking the companies to consider a merger. As the controlling shareholder of both CBS and Viacom, National Amusements won’t weigh a takeover by a third party or any deal that would require it to give up power, it said.