Shari Redstone, Joe Ianniello in Spotlight as CBS and Viacom Pursue Merger Talks Again

  • Variety
As CBS Corp. nears a formal acquisition offer for Viacom, the actions of two key players — controlling shareholder Shari Redstone and acting CBS CEO Joe Ianniello — will be closely watched in the coming weeks.

Redstone’s moves are under scrutiny because of the potential for litigation surrounding a deal that some have criticized as CBS coming to the rescue of Viacom, at the expense of CBS’ independent shareholders. Ianniello, meanwhile, is likely to face a decision soon about whether to extend his contract again on a short-term basis to help steer CBS through a possible merger. And there is increasing talk about the reunification of CBS-Viacom being the first step in a larger campaign to buy or sell in order for Redstone to better position CBS and Viacom for the future in a rapidly changing media marketplace.

Redstone, who is vice chair of CBS and Viacom, has to tread carefully
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