Les Moonves Would Collect At Least $184 Million If He Got Ousted As CBS CEO

As Viacom and CBS continue their discussions about a reunion tour, which are going about as harmoniously as the ones before Guns ‘N’ Roses got back together, the financial stakes of theoretical management change are becoming more clear.
If one extreme scenario reported yesterday actually did come to pass and National Amusements chief Shari Redstone, the controlling shareholder of CBS and Viacom, removed Leslie Moonves as CEO of CBS, the exec would collect an eye-opening…

As Viacom and CBS continue their discussions about a reunion tour, which are going about as harmoniously as the ones before Guns ‘N’ Roses got back together, the financial stakes of theoretical management change are becoming more clear. If one extreme scenario reported yesterday actually did come to pass and National Amusements chief Shari Redstone, the controlling shareholder of CBS and Viacom, removed Leslie Moonves as CEO of CBS, the exec would collect an eye-opening…

Would Shari Redstone Really Replace CBS Chief Les Moonves With Bob Bakish?

Shari Redstone is considering removing Les Moonves from atop CBS if he doesn’t agree to take on Viacom boss Bob Bakish as his No. 2 should the two companies become one again, according to Reuters. But would she really?

Not according to a spokeswoman for National Amusements, Inc., the umbrella company through which the Redstone family controls CBS and Viacom. “National Amusements has tremendous respect for Les Moonves and it has always been our intention that he run a combined company,” the rep told TheWrap.

A person with knowledge of the plans told TheWrap that the Reuters report of a threat to Moonves (which was echoed by CNBC) is “not reflective” of where the process stands. NAI is still waiting on a special committee to hash out such hiccups, and the person told us that they all still support that small group.

Also Read: Viacom Counters Initial CBS Offer With $14.7 Billion Valuation, Wants Bob Bakish as President-COO

So is this all just posturing, using the media as a negotiator? Technically, Redstone has the power to do virtually whatever she wants, as her family holds about 80 percent of the voting shares of both companies. That means she holds the cards.

And the hand Redstone wants played, according to the reports, is for Bakish to be president and chief operating officer of the new CBS. That would drop Moonves’ current righthand man, Joe Ianniello, into some other role — or perhaps, unemployment.

Moonves is reportedly staying loyal to Ianniello. Those on the CBS side believe he has good reason to.

Also Read: Viacom Rejects CBS’ Initial Acquisition Offer

Though Bakish would bring some international experience to the table, many people do not believe he can match Ianniello on financial matters. And Ianniello has the advantage of knowing both companies, because he also worked at Viacom for six years.

Since the two entities split in 2006, Moonves’ CBS has been far more successful than Viacom. To be fair to Bakish, Viacom was led by Philippe Dauman for the lion’s share of the last dozen years, which haven’t always been glory days.

Why mess with a good thing? For Redstone, it is all about access, her critics say. That doesn’t mean she’s on an island with her thinking, however.

Also Read: Trevor Noah Sets First Look TV, Movie Deal With Viacom

BTIG analyst Rich Greenfield wrote in a note to investors last week that having Moonves lead the combined company would be a mistake. Greenfield said Moonves has a negative view of Viacom’s asset portfolio — and of basic cable in general. He also accused Moonves of being “the key driver behind the failed 2016 merger” of these two companies.

“Moonves has poisoned the Viacom waters for far too long and we simply do not believe Viacom and its employees could flourish under the known dislike of Moonves,” Greenfield wrote. “The future of a combined Viacom and CBS is going to be driven by an increasing focus on international and scaling up, which implies Bakish with Viacom CFO Wade Davis are the proper team, not Moonves and CBS’ COO Joe Ianniello.”

Also Read: Paramount Network Delays ‘Heathers’ TV Series ‘Out of Respect’ for Florida Shooting Victims

Others aren’t questioning Moonves, but are questioning his consigliere.

“The contrast between Bob and Joe is pretty clear,” said Tuna Amobi, a media and entertainment analyst for research firm CFRA. “That’s not to say there aren’t people who prefer Joe, but Bob has a significantly diversified skill set, especially on the international side. [Joe’s] never run a public company.”

Viacom did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment on this story. CBS declined comment.

Also Read: CBS Chief Les Moonves Earned Less in 2017, Still Made $69 Million

Last week, Viacom countered CBS’ initial acquisition offer, adding about 24 percent in valuation to the opening proposal. The counter-offer valued Viacom at $14.7 billion, though since this is an all-stock deal, any ultimate dollar amount tied to a completed transaction would come down to fluctuating share prices.

Initially, CBS had proposed a share exchange ratio of 0.55, which would value Viacom at $11.9 billion. Viacom believed that to be a low-ball offer, CBS does not. At the time the value became public, that first offer placed a dollar amount on Viacom that was below its market cap.

An insider at one of those companies tells TheWrap that the negotiations have been contentious.

Clearly.

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Shari Redstone is considering removing Les Moonves from atop CBS if he doesn’t agree to take on Viacom boss Bob Bakish as his No. 2 should the two companies become one again, according to Reuters. But would she really?

Not according to a spokeswoman for National Amusements, Inc., the umbrella company through which the Redstone family controls CBS and Viacom. “National Amusements has tremendous respect for Les Moonves and it has always been our intention that he run a combined company,” the rep told TheWrap.

A person with knowledge of the plans told TheWrap that the Reuters report of a threat to Moonves (which was echoed by CNBC) is “not reflective” of where the process stands. NAI is still waiting on a special committee to hash out such hiccups, and the person told us that they all still support that small group.

So is this all just posturing, using the media as a negotiator? Technically, Redstone has the power to do virtually whatever she wants, as her family holds about 80 percent of the voting shares of both companies. That means she holds the cards.

And the hand Redstone wants played, according to the reports, is for Bakish to be president and chief operating officer of the new CBS. That would drop Moonves’ current righthand man, Joe Ianniello, into some other role — or perhaps, unemployment.

Moonves is reportedly staying loyal to Ianniello. Those on the CBS side believe he has good reason to.

Though Bakish would bring some international experience to the table, many people do not believe he can match Ianniello on financial matters. And Ianniello has the advantage of knowing both companies, because he also worked at Viacom for six years.

Since the two entities split in 2006, Moonves’ CBS has been far more successful than Viacom. To be fair to Bakish, Viacom was led by Philippe Dauman for the lion’s share of the last dozen years, which haven’t always been glory days.

Why mess with a good thing? For Redstone, it is all about access, her critics say. That doesn’t mean she’s on an island with her thinking, however.

BTIG analyst Rich Greenfield wrote in a note to investors last week that having Moonves lead the combined company would be a mistake. Greenfield said Moonves has a negative view of Viacom’s asset portfolio — and of basic cable in general. He also accused Moonves of being “the key driver behind the failed 2016 merger” of these two companies.

“Moonves has poisoned the Viacom waters for far too long and we simply do not believe Viacom and its employees could flourish under the known dislike of Moonves,” Greenfield wrote. “The future of a combined Viacom and CBS is going to be driven by an increasing focus on international and scaling up, which implies Bakish with Viacom CFO Wade Davis are the proper team, not Moonves and CBS’ COO Joe Ianniello.”

Others aren’t questioning Moonves, but are questioning his consigliere.

“The contrast between Bob and Joe is pretty clear,” said Tuna Amobi, a media and entertainment analyst for research firm CFRA. “That’s not to say there aren’t people who prefer Joe, but Bob has a significantly diversified skill set, especially on the international side. [Joe’s] never run a public company.”

Viacom did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment on this story. CBS declined comment.

Last week, Viacom countered CBS’ initial acquisition offer, adding about 24 percent in valuation to the opening proposal. The counter-offer valued Viacom at $14.7 billion, though since this is an all-stock deal, any ultimate dollar amount tied to a completed transaction would come down to fluctuating share prices.

Initially, CBS had proposed a share exchange ratio of 0.55, which would value Viacom at $11.9 billion. Viacom believed that to be a low-ball offer, CBS does not. At the time the value became public, that first offer placed a dollar amount on Viacom that was below its market cap.

An insider at one of those companies tells TheWrap that the negotiations have been contentious.

Clearly.

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Viacom’s Bob Bakish Praises “Creative Momentum” In Staff Memo As CBS Merger Intrigue Swirls

As merger negotiations with CBS hit a patch of turbulence today, Viacom CEO Bob Bakish delivered a memo to the troops praising Paramount Pictures and MTV for recent success and saluting the company’s “creative momentum.”
For the past two months, committees at each company — which operate separately and have independent boards despite having National Amusements as controlling shareholder — have been exploring a possible merger. They have been separate companies since 2006…

As merger negotiations with CBS hit a patch of turbulence today, Viacom CEO Bob Bakish delivered a memo to the troops praising Paramount Pictures and MTV for recent success and saluting the company’s “creative momentum.” For the past two months, committees at each company — which operate separately and have independent boards despite having National Amusements as controlling shareholder — have been exploring a possible merger. They have been separate companies since 2006…

Viacom Counters Initial CBS Offer With $14.7 Billion Valuation, Wants Bob Bakish as President-COO

Viacom has countered CBS’ initial acquisition offer, adding about 24 percent in valuation to the opening proposal, two people with knowledge of the negotiations told TheWrap. Viacom also wants Bob Bakish as president and chief operating officer at the new company, according to one of those people.

The counter-offer would value Viacom at $14.7 billion, though since this is an all-stock deal, any ultimate value of a completed transaction would come down to fluctuating share prices.

Initially, CBS had proposed a share exchange ratio of 0.55, which would value Viacom at $11.9 billion. Viacom believes that to be a low-ball offer, CBS does not. At the time the value became public, it did place a dollar amount on Viacom that was below its market cap.

Also Read: Viacom Rejects CBS’ Initial Acquisition Offer

Viacom’s current market capitalization is $12.691, so somewhere in the middle.

CBS is currently balking at both Viacom’s self-valuation and the idea of Bakish in such a key role. Executives at the so-called Tiffany Network want Leslie Moonves’ team to stay in place, which means Joe Ianniello would remain COO under CBS’ terms.

Both companies believe there is a case to be made for their version of an envisioned hierarchy: Bakish is a popular boss in a media-facing role, but Ianniello has helped guide the financials of the clearly more successful corporation.

Also Read: CBS Submits Below-Market Value Offer for Viacom

Viacom and CBS both declined comment on this story.

CBS and Viacom were one company once before, though they spun off from one-another back in 2005. Since then, CBS has been the more successful of the two publicly traded corporations.

Both companies are controlled by the Redstone Family. The ailing Sumner Redstone’s holding company National Amusements Inc. carries about 80 percent of the voting shares for both CBS and Viacom, and his daughter Shari Redstone is a vice chairman for each. She’s been leading the charge for CBS and Viacom to recombine.

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Viacom has countered CBS’ initial acquisition offer, adding about 24 percent in valuation to the opening proposal, two people with knowledge of the negotiations told TheWrap. Viacom also wants Bob Bakish as president and chief operating officer at the new company, according to one of those people.

The counter-offer would value Viacom at $14.7 billion, though since this is an all-stock deal, any ultimate value of a completed transaction would come down to fluctuating share prices.

Initially, CBS had proposed a share exchange ratio of 0.55, which would value Viacom at $11.9 billion. Viacom believes that to be a low-ball offer, CBS does not. At the time the value became public, it did place a dollar amount on Viacom that was below its market cap.

Viacom’s current market capitalization is $12.691, so somewhere in the middle.

CBS is currently balking at both Viacom’s self-valuation and the idea of Bakish in such a key role. Executives at the so-called Tiffany Network want Leslie Moonves’ team to stay in place, which means Joe Ianniello would remain COO under CBS’ terms.

Both companies believe there is a case to be made for their version of an envisioned hierarchy: Bakish is a popular boss in a media-facing role, but Ianniello has helped guide the financials of the clearly more successful corporation.

Viacom and CBS both declined comment on this story.

CBS and Viacom were one company once before, though they spun off from one-another back in 2005. Since then, CBS has been the more successful of the two publicly traded corporations.

Both companies are controlled by the Redstone Family. The ailing Sumner Redstone’s holding company National Amusements Inc. carries about 80 percent of the voting shares for both CBS and Viacom, and his daughter Shari Redstone is a vice chairman for each. She’s been leading the charge for CBS and Viacom to recombine.

Related stories from TheWrap:

CBS Chief Les Moonves Earned Less in 2017, Still Made $69 Million

'SEAL Team,' 'SWAT' Both Renewed for Season 2 at CBS

Timberman-Beverly Jumps From CBS to ABC Studios With New Overall Deal

Viacom Rejects CBS’ Initial Acquisition Offer

Viacom has rejected CBS’ first offer to acquire the Paramount Pictures, Nickelodeon and Comedy Central parent company, a person close to Viacom told TheWrap.

The rejection comes as no surprise as the initial proposal valued Viacom below its market cap. A counter-offer from Viacom, valuing the smaller of the two publicly traded corporations at a high price tag, is expected to be presented to CBS soon.

Tuesday’s all-stock pitch was contingent on CBS’ management team leading the mega-company. CBS wants CEO Les Moonves and president Joe Ianniello to run the combined corporation. It’s unclear where that would leave Viacom boss Bob Bakish.

Also Read: CBS Submits Below-Market Value Offer for Viacom

Since the starting-point offer called for an all-stock deal, the exact dollar value assigned to Viacom has fluctuated since talks began, and could continue to shift.

After a tough day of stock trading yesterday, Viacom’s current market cap was $12.222 billion, based on a VIAB per-share price of $29.42, which is where the U.S. markets closed at 4 p.m. ET Tuesday. That was down $1.13 per share from Monday’s close, or minus 3.70 percent.

VIAB shares have recovered a bit thus far today. CBS is also trading up a couple of coins per share.

Also Read: ‘Instinct’ Showrunner Apologizes for Recent Amish Murder Plot With ‘Distressing’ Similarity to ‘Bones’

CBS and Viacom were one company once before, though they spun off from one-another back in 2005. Since then, CBS has been the more successful of the two publicly traded corporations.

Both companies are controlled by the Redstone Family. The ailing Sumner Redstone’s holding company National Amusements Inc. carries about 80 percent of the voting shares for both CBS and Viacom, and his daughter Shari Redstone is a vice chairman for each. She’s been leading the charge for CBS and Viacom to recombine.

A Viacom spokesman declined comment to TheWrap on this story. CBS did not immediately respond to our request for comment.

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Trevor Noah Sets First Look TV, Movie Deal With Viacom

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Viacom has rejected CBS’ first offer to acquire the Paramount Pictures, Nickelodeon and Comedy Central parent company, a person close to Viacom told TheWrap.

The rejection comes as no surprise as the initial proposal valued Viacom below its market cap. A counter-offer from Viacom, valuing the smaller of the two publicly traded corporations at a high price tag, is expected to be presented to CBS soon.

Tuesday’s all-stock pitch was contingent on CBS’ management team leading the mega-company. CBS wants CEO Les Moonves and president Joe Ianniello to run the combined corporation. It’s unclear where that would leave Viacom boss Bob Bakish.

Since the starting-point offer called for an all-stock deal, the exact dollar value assigned to Viacom has fluctuated since talks began, and could continue to shift.

After a tough day of stock trading yesterday, Viacom’s current market cap was $12.222 billion, based on a VIAB per-share price of $29.42, which is where the U.S. markets closed at 4 p.m. ET Tuesday. That was down $1.13 per share from Monday’s close, or minus 3.70 percent.

VIAB shares have recovered a bit thus far today. CBS is also trading up a couple of coins per share.

CBS and Viacom were one company once before, though they spun off from one-another back in 2005. Since then, CBS has been the more successful of the two publicly traded corporations.

Both companies are controlled by the Redstone Family. The ailing Sumner Redstone’s holding company National Amusements Inc. carries about 80 percent of the voting shares for both CBS and Viacom, and his daughter Shari Redstone is a vice chairman for each. She’s been leading the charge for CBS and Viacom to recombine.

A Viacom spokesman declined comment to TheWrap on this story. CBS did not immediately respond to our request for comment.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Trevor Noah Sets First Look TV, Movie Deal With Viacom

All Viacom Networks to Go Dark to Support National School Walkout

'Teen Mom' Star Farrah Abraham Sues Viacom, Says She Was 'Sex Shamed' Over Her Porn Career

CBS Submits Below-Market Value Offer for Viacom

CBS has formally submitted an offer for Viacom, a person with knowledge of the negotiations told TheWrap, pricing Viacom below its current market value.

The all-stock pitch is contingent on CBS’ management team leading the mega-company. Should this go down, CBS wants CEO Les Moonves and President Joe Ianniello to run the combined corporation.

It’s unclear where that would leave Viacom boss Bob Bakish.

Since this is an all-stock deal, the exact dollar value of the offer has fluctuated since talks began, and could continue to shift. After a tough day of stock trading, Viacom’s current market cap is now $12.222 billion.

Also Read: ‘Instinct’ Showrunner Apologizes for Recent Amish Murder Plot With ‘Distressing’ Similarity to ‘Bones’

CBS and Viacom were one company once before, though they spun off from one-another back in 2005. Since then, CBS has been the more successful of the two publicly traded corporations.

Both companies are controlled by the Redstone Family. The ailing Sumner Redstone’s National Amusements Inc. holds 80 percent of the voting shares for each, and his daughter Shari Redstone is a vice chair for each. She’s been leading the charge for CBS and Viacom to recombine.

TheWrap‘s request to Viacom for comment on this story were not immediately returned. CBS declined comment.

Related stories from TheWrap:

CBS Plans to Make All-Stock Bid for Viacom Below Current Market Value (Report)

Trevor Noah Sets First Look TV, Movie Deal With Viacom

All Viacom Networks to Go Dark to Support National School Walkout

CBS has formally submitted an offer for Viacom, a person with knowledge of the negotiations told TheWrap, pricing Viacom below its current market value.

The all-stock pitch is contingent on CBS’ management team leading the mega-company. Should this go down, CBS wants CEO Les Moonves and President Joe Ianniello to run the combined corporation.

It’s unclear where that would leave Viacom boss Bob Bakish.

Since this is an all-stock deal, the exact dollar value of the offer has fluctuated since talks began, and could continue to shift. After a tough day of stock trading, Viacom’s current market cap is now $12.222 billion.

CBS and Viacom were one company once before, though they spun off from one-another back in 2005. Since then, CBS has been the more successful of the two publicly traded corporations.

Both companies are controlled by the Redstone Family. The ailing Sumner Redstone’s National Amusements Inc. holds 80 percent of the voting shares for each, and his daughter Shari Redstone is a vice chair for each. She’s been leading the charge for CBS and Viacom to recombine.

TheWrap‘s request to Viacom for comment on this story were not immediately returned. CBS declined comment.

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CBS Plans to Make All-Stock Bid for Viacom Below Current Market Value (Report)

Trevor Noah Sets First Look TV, Movie Deal With Viacom

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CBS Makes Formal Offer To Buy Viacom, Showing How Dramatically The Media Game Has Changed

CBS submitted an initial offer today to acquire Viacom in an all-stock deal that values its corporate cousin at below its current market value of $12.3 billion.
The special committee of CBS board members proposed installing CBS CEO Leslie Moonves and Joe Ianniello, the network’s chief operating officer, to run the merged companies, sources confirmed.
That sets the bar and ushers in a period of more intensive deal talks this month. From the Justice Department’s…

CBS submitted an initial offer today to acquire Viacom in an all-stock deal that values its corporate cousin at below its current market value of $12.3 billion. The special committee of CBS board members proposed installing CBS CEO Leslie Moonves and Joe Ianniello, the network’s chief operating officer, to run the merged companies, sources confirmed. That sets the bar and ushers in a period of more intensive deal talks this month. From the Justice Department’s…