Former CBS Chief Joe Ianniello Launches SPAC to Raise $300 million

The ex-CEO is looking for an acquisition in media, telecom or tech for Argus

joseph ianniello
Joseph Ianniello in 2015 (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Joe Ianniello is looking to hop on the SPAC train.

On Thursday, the former CBS chief executive launched special purpose acquisition company Argus, named after the Greek mythological giant and the CBS eye logo. He is looking to raise at least $300 million and hopes to find an acquisition in media, telecom or technology, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The spokesman did not disclose how much money has been raised so far.

This move comes as other media giants from AT&T to BuzzFeed have inked their own deals recently, whether in the SPAC route or through pursuing other mergers. AT&T’s WarnerMedia division will merge with Discovery Inc. to establish a new public company.

Joe Ianniello has banded up with several former CBS executives to form the Argus team, including Marc DeBevoise, chief operating officer of Argus, and Dana McClintock, chief communications officer at Argus. Both were longtime executives at CBS leading streaming services and communications, respectively.

Argus has a total of nine executives and a headquarter near Columbus Circle in Manhattan. Executives on the management team are also investors in the SPAC. Ianniello is one of them, and he previously received a payout valued at $70 million after CBS’ 2019 merger with Viacom.

At CBS, Ianniello helped launch its outdoor advertising business and sell a radio station group. He said companies focused on video streaming, live events and sports are of interest to Argus. It would also consider companies in the ad tech, games and wellness or lifestyle markets.


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