Reynolds to Stay at CBS

Aug 15, 2005  •  Post A Comment

In an apparent about-face, CBS said Monday that veteran executive Fredric Reynolds has decided to stay at the network and will become executive VP and chief financial officer of CBS Corp. following the company’s split from Viacom early next year.

Mr. Reynolds announced last month that he was leaving the network to join private-equity firm Evercore Partners as its president, chief operating officer and chief financial officer.

In the months leading up to the breakup, Mr. Reynolds will continue to serve as president of the Viacom Television Stations Group.

Sources familiar with the matter said Mr. Reynolds was persuaded to stay at the network by Viacom co-COO Leslie Moonves, and by what Mr. Reynolds admitted was difficulty at leaving the company.

“Leaving the Viacom/CBS family and all the wonderful relationships formed over the last 12 years was far more difficult than I ever imagined,” Mr. Reynolds said in a statement.

In being named CFO of the to-be-formed CBS Corp., Mr. Reynolds officially gets a job that most observers said he was slated to receive once CBS split from Viacom.

“At this pivotal time in our history, there is no better thinker and financial executive to have by my side,” Mr. Moonves said in a statement, adding that he expects to rely on Mr. Reynolds “broadly to help me strategize, operate and drive results at the various business units” that will make up the new CBS Corp.

CBS and Viacom’s publishing and radio assets are being combined in a new public company that will be split from the rest of Viacom in an effort by Viacom Chairman and CEO Sumner Redstone to jump-start the company’s stock by separating cash-generating, low-growth assets from high-growth assets.