“Media company Viacom Inc. shored up its management team on Monday by naming the head of its international operations, Robert Bakish, as the company’s acting president and chief executive,” The Los Angeles Times reports. “Bakish becomes Viacom’s third chief executive in less than three months. He will replace Thomas Dooley, the longtime chief operating officer, who became interim CEO in late August. Dooley announced that he would leave Viacom on Nov. 15.”
The report adds: “The installation of Bakish, which becomes effective Nov. 15, as the acting — and not permanent — CEO provides a strong signal that Viacom eventually might combine with CBS Corp.”
The report cites an unnamed source who’s familiar with the discussions saying that the Viacom board felt it was best to name an acting CEO while Viacom explores a possible merger with CBS.
The Times adds: “By tapping an insider rather than launch an exhaustive search for an outsider, Viacom appeared to signal that it was open to a reunion with CBS, the other media company controlled by Sumner Redstone and his family.”