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Viacom CEO Bob Bakish steered clear of talk about a possible merger with CBS but was more expansive at an event with reporters Tuesday on how the mega-mergers and the rise of digital giants in the media world would work in his company’s favor.
While he would not comment on any potential merger with CBS or on whether the network’s former chief, Les Moonves, deserved a payoff, Bakish said he had spoken with acting CBS CEO Joe Ianiello. “I’ve known Joe for a long time,” the Viacom boss told journalists at a Broadcasting Press Guild session in London. “He called me….He was in a new chair, and I had been put in that chair two years earlier, and what’s it like to be in that chair. That was the conversation we had.”
Bakish - Wider - Media - Landscape - Media
Bakish was more open talking about the wider media landscape. He said media companies starting to retain content for their own platforms – Disney’s plans to launch its own streaming service and pull its content from Netflix, for example – would be to the advantage of Viacom, which has no interest in building a Netflix-like streamer.
“Who is going to supply all the other people?” Bakish said. “Viacom is very well-positioned to do that as a truly global, multiplatform content company….There aren’t that many people that can step in – and Viacom is certainly one [that can].”
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