Almost 14 years after Viacom and CBS went their separate ways, the two media companies are one again. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the companies officially reunited after Wednesday’s close of the stock market.
The combination brings together assets including Paramount Pictures, MTV, BET, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, the CBS broadcast network and Showtime.
“The combined company’s stock starts trading on Thursday on the Nasdaq exchange under the symbols ‘VIAC’ and ‘VIACA,’ THR reports.
The publication adds: “While the deal fits in with the broader consolidation the entertainment sector has experienced in recent years, many on Wall Street say the combined firm will have to prove the benefits of the combination. In line with that, the two stocks have traded below the prices they were at when the merger was unveiled.”
Bob Bakish, who has been Viacom’s CEO, leads the new company as president and CEO, while Joe Ianniello, who has been CBS Corp.’s acting CEO, is now chairman and CEO of CBS.
Bakish is quoted saying Wednesday: “This is a historic moment. Through the combination of CBS’s and Viacom’s complementary assets, capabilities and talented teams, ViacomCBS will create and deliver premium content for its own platforms and for others, while providing innovative solutions for advertisers and distributors globally. I am excited about the opportunity we have to serve our audiences, creative and commercial partners, and employees, while generating significant long-term value for our shareholders.”