CBS AND VIACOM: HAPPY AGAIN!

Just a few quick thoughts on the occasion of the reunification of House CBS with House Viacom:

• Okay, so now what?  They’re a fading legacy network and the last place film studio cobbled together.  Whoopee!

• Is this new creation going to get it together to go all-in with the CBS app and make its own streaming project that’s going to go head to head with Disney, Netflix, Amazon, et al?   Really?

• Or are they going to get bought up now?  Presumably by the same people who have been just thiiiiiiis close to buying Sony every week for the past five years. Maybe the reunion finally puts the last block into place so someone can swoop down, buy Sony, Paramount, Lion’s Gate, MGM, STX, Annapurna, Lorimar, Cannon Films and whomever else is hanging around and mesh them all together to create the great fabled fourth studio of legend; to be overseen by Ari Emmanuel as foretold in the pages of Entourage.

• It’s amazing to think back:  the whole Moonves/Shari Redstone war went into the red hot combat that ultimately sucked Moonves’ career, legacy and reputation into the vortex over the issue of who would be Moonves’ number two if he submitted himself to stand as the head of the combined company.  Shari wanted Bob Bakish as his deputy, but Moonves insisted, no, only my Joe Ianniello is fit to be the number two man at this company.  And so the battle began.

And here we are, a year and a half later, and Joe Ianniello is going to be the number two man at the company. Under Bob Bakish.

As long as everyone is happy.

• But that reminds one…we never did get that What Did Joe Know and When Did He Know It, accounting of what exactly was CBS’ chief accountant and Loyal Moonves deputy of the crimes of the Moonves era.  Wasn’t that supposed to be on our desks by now?

• By the way, you’ve now got a ton of people with no background whatsoever in creative decision making running a company that will ultimately rise or fall on its creative decisions. That seems to be the new model but you don’t have to strain your brain too hard to think of how that might actually be a liability at some point down the line.

• Whatever one might say of business and how the laws of the marketplace prevail, basic economics always takes a back seat to basic ego.  The contortions of this company, the fights, the issues it’s had…From Phillipe Dauman to Les to Sumner and the Redstone family fighting it out, what has any of this had to do with creating a successful company compared to massaging the egos of everyone with their hands on a piece of it.

ALSO IN TODAY’S EDITION!

  • WHAT GOOD IS A HOBBES AND SHAW!
  • THE FLIGHT FROM SONY CONTINUES!
  • THE ALLY NO ONE WANTS IN THE WGA RACE!

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