CBS and Viacom: The Long Road to Re-Merging the Redstone Empire

Shari Redstone’s push to reunite the two media giants culminates Tuesday after years of legal battles, lowball offers and executive turmoil

The wait is finally over. CBS and Viacom on Tuesday announced the long-awaited merger of the two media and entertainment companies, recombining the sister companies that parted ways in 2005, and creating ViacomCBS.

It’s taken roughly three years to even get the two companies — both majority owned by Shari Redstone’s family holding company National Amusements — to agree to terms.

The courting has been tumultuous, to say the least, with nasty legal disputes and a tug-of-war battle between Redstone and former CBS chief Les Moonves for power and control over the futures of both Viacom and CBS.

Here’s an in-depth look back at how CBS, Viacom and the Redstone empire got to Tuesday’s merger — a day at least three years in the making:

September 2016: 

Fresh from wresting away control of Viacom earlier in the year, Shari Redstone and National Amusements proposed a plan for Viacom and sister company CBS to merge.

“We believe that a combination of CBS and Viacom might offer substantial synergies that would allow the combined company to respond even more aggressively and effectively to the challenges of the changing entertainment and media landscape,” Redstone wrote in Sign Up Log In

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Sean Burch

and

Just a kid from the streets of Orange County, writing about tech