Fox Business Network
Fox Business Network 15 Apr 2019

Talks heating up on a possible CBS-Viacom merger: Charlie Gasparino

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FBN's Charlie Gasparino says talks are heating up on a possible CBS-Viacom merger amid CBS's search for a new CEO.


Domonique Foxworth, Jalen Rose and Desmond Howard react to Los Angeles Rams QB Jared Goff and other white NFL players speaking up on racial injustice. Foxworth also addresses Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones being named as a reason why owners have remained silent.

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Boris Johnson's plan to set up a commission into racial inequality, in response to the Black Lives Matter protests, has been criticised by Labour's Justice spokesman David Lammy.

He said the prime minister's proposal had been "drawn up on the back of a fag packet"and that instead of yet another review, Boris Johnson should implement the recommendations that previous inquiries had already come up with.

Meanwhile in the United States, the widow of an African-American man who was shot dead by police in Atlanta has appealed for protests against his killing to be peaceful and said her family will never heal.

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Fiona Bruce presents BBC News at Ten reports from Home Editor Mark Easton and North America correspondent Nick Bryant.
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… show captions ↓
BROADCAST GIANT.
ITS CEO SEARCHERJ
E
MERGER MANIA.
>> YEAH, REMEMBER THE MERGER WAS
PROPOSED BY SHARI REDSTONE WAY
BACK WHEN, IT WAS KILLED, LES
MOONVES INVOLVED IN KILLING IT,
THEN THEY HAD A YEAR TO FIGURE
OUT WHAT TO DO NEXT, EITHER
MERGE WITH VIACOM OR SOMEONE
ELSE.
HERE'S WHAT WE HEAR FROM INSIDE
THE COMPANY.
IT'S FASCINATING BECAUSE THIS IS
GOING ON AS THEY ARE TRYING TO
PICK A NEW CEO.
HERE'S WHAT WE KNOW.
WE SHOULD KEEP THE STOCK CHART
BECAUSE THIS CAN MOVE THE STOCK.
TALKS ARE HEATING UP ABOUT A
POSSIBLE CBS/VIACOM MERGER.
THESE MERGER TALKS ARE
COMPLICATING THE NEW CEO SEARCH.
THE CEO WOULD HAVE BEEN FOUND BY
NOW, WOULD HAVE BEEN IANIELLO,
MAYBE BOB BAKISH.
THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN FOUND OUT
BY NOW IF THEY DIDN'T HAVE
MERGER DISCUSSIONS.
LIZ: THERE IT GOES.
>> THAT'S WHAT'S GOING ON RIGHT
NOW.
DISCUSSIONS ARE CLEARLY
IMPACTING THE CEO SEARCH BECAUSE
NOBODY KNOWS WHO THE NEW CEO IS.
THIS IS HEATING UP.
I'M HEARING FROM PEOPLE CLOSE TO
THE BOARD THAT IF YOU WERE GOING
TO SAY WHAT IS THE MOST LIKELY
SCENARIO HERE, OKAY, IT IS THAT
CBS NOW MERGES WITH VIACOM,
THAT'S WHAT THEY'RE TALKING
ABOUT INTERNALLY.
I'M NOT SAYING IT'S DEFINITELY
GOING TO HAPPEN.
JUST TO BE CLEAR HERE, IT
DOESN'T HAVE TO HAPPEN.
THIS IS A VERY FLUID SITUATION.
BUT THEY ARE CLEARLY FOCUSED ON
THAT NOW, AND THAT'S WHY YOU
HAVEN'T SEEN THE NEW CEO.
THE MOST LIKELY OUTCOME, IF THAT
DOES HAPPEN, AND AGAIN, IT'S AN
IF, IS THAT WHAT I UNDERSTAND IS
THAT BOB BAKISH, HEAD OF VIACOM,
HAS THE INSIDE TRACK ON THE CEO
JOB.
THAT'S WHAI
THAT'S WHAT I'M HEARING FROM
PEOPLE CLOSE TO CBS, CLOSE TO
VIACOM, AND THESE ARE ONGOING
DISCUSSIONS.
LIZ: VIACOM IS UP 1.5%.
>> WE SHOULD POINT OUT THE OTHER
CEO CANDIDATES, OBVIOUSLY THE
INTERIM IS STILL IN THE MIX.
GUY NAMED TOM SKAGGS IS IN THE
MIX, FORMER CFO AT DISNEY.
IF THIS DEAL DOES HAPPEN WITH
VIACOM AND CBS, FROM WHAT I
HEAR, IT'S BAKISH'S TO LOSE.
ONE REASON IS THE RELATIONSHIP
WITH SHARI REDSTONE.
REMEMBER, CBS AND VIACOM ARE
OWNED BY NATIONAL AMUSEMENTS,
THAT'S THE REDSTONE --
LIZ: CBS WAS SPUN OFF.
>> THAT WAS THE REDSTONE HOLDING
COMPANY.
THEY ARE CONTROLLING
SHAREHOLDERS.
APPARENTLY BAKISH HAD THE BETTER
RELATIONSHIP WITH SHARI THAN
JOE.
I THINK IT COMES DOWN TO THAT.
LIZ: HERE ARE THE CORPORATION
BRANDS.
THEY ARE VERY SEPARATE.
CBS HAS TV GUIDE AND "60
MINUTES," CBS NEWS, COLBERT,
SPORTS.
THEN FLIP IT OVER TO VIACOM,
THEY HAVE EVERYTHING FROM MTV TO
B.E.T., PARAMOUNT, COUNTRY
MUSIC, NICKELODEON.
>> HERE'S THE OTHER THEORY GOING
ON HERE.
THIS IS WHY THE CEO SEARCH HAS
HIT A SNAG.
THEY MAY NAME THE GUY TOMORROW
FOR ALL I KNOW BUT --
LIZ: JUST TO SPITE YOU.
>> I KNOW IT HAS BEEN --
LIZ: IT HAS HAPPENED BEFORE.
>> IT HAS BEEN DELAYED BECAUSE
OF THESE MERGERS, BECAUSE OF THE
DISCUSSIONS ABOUT MERGING THE
TWO.
HERE'S A POSSIBILITY PEOPLE ARE
TELLING ME.
YOU MERGE THEM, CBS, VIACOM,
BIGGER COMPANY, YOU SELL THAT
BIGGER COMPANY.
THAT'S WHERE IT MAKES SENSE.
IT DOESN'T MAKE SENSE TO SELL
CBS SEPARATELY OR VIACOM
SEPARATELY.
CLEARLY THE WEAKER OF THE TWO
MEDIA PROPERTIES.
IT DOES MAKE SENSE TO PUT THEM
TOGETHER, CREATE SYNERGIES, THEN
SPIN IT OFF.
THAT'S WHERE -- AND IF YOU THINK
ABOUT IT, WHO WOULD BE THE
LIKELY BUYERS?
WE'RE NOT A BUYER ANYMORE, FOX.
WE HAVE SPUN OFF ASSETS.
WE ARE A $29 BILLION COMPANY.
LIZ: MAYBE DO CBS AS A
STAND-ALONE.
>> IT'S A CHUNK OF CHANGE.
THEY WOULD BUY, I DON'T KNOW
WHAT THEIR MARKET CAP IS, BUT
THEY MAY BUY US.
LIZ: WE COULD POOL OUR MONEY.
>> BUT WHO ARE WE BUYING?
THINK OF THE DEEP POCKETS THAT
HAVE TO BE IN HERE.
IT'S TECH, AMAZON, I DON'T KNOW,
YOU KNOW, OR MAYBE A MERGER WITH
SOMEBODY ELSE.
BUT CLEARLY, THE TALKS RIGHT NOW
INSIDE CBS, I GUESS THE
HEADLINE, THE MAIN TALKS, IS THE
DEAL WITH VIACOM.
THAT DOESN'T MEAN IT WILL
HAPPEN.
THEY ARE TALKING AND THAT'S
DELAYING THE CEO SELECTION.
LIZ: CHARLIE GASPARINO, THANK
YOU VERY MUCH.
>> I RAN TO THE NEWSROOM WITH
THIS.
LIZ: YOU'RE IN GOOD SHAPE.
>> GOOD THING IT'S COLD IN HERE.

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