Is Ianniello’s Longer Acting Role A First Step To Viacom Merger?


Call off the search party. And, prepare for a reuniting of former partners?

Joseph Ianniello has agreed to extend his role as CBS Corporation‘s President and acting CEO for six additional months.

This lengthens his chief executive duties through Dec. 31, 2019, at which time CBS could very well announce that it is reunifying with Viacom under the direction of both company’s majority shareholder — Shari Redstone-led National Amusements Inc.

To be clear, any talk of a recombination of Viacom and CBS remains hearsay and the subject of suggestions fueled by respected Wall Street analyst Michael Nathanson.

In a late Tuesday (4/23) announcement, the suspension of CBS’s search for another CEO was suspended “as a testament to the accomplishments achieved by Ianniello” since he became President and acting CEO.

In a statement, CBS’s Board of Directors said, “Joe has demonstrated exceptional leadership during this time of unprecedented transition at CBS. He steadied the ship with some key appointments and a commitment to cultural change, and steered it forward by focusing CBS’ operations around its growing direct-to-consumer strategy. We are very pleased to recognize Joe’s talents and efforts with this extension, and we look forward to all that he’ll continue to do to build on CBS’ remarkable momentum.”

Ianniello assumed his current role in September 2018, after serving as COO since 2013. He was instrumental in launching CBS All Access, the company’s OTT initiative, and also directed CBS Radio‘s Reverse Morris Trust-fueled merger with Entercom and the purchase by CBS of Australia’s Network 10.

Further, Ianniello led the conversion of CBS Outdoor into a real-estate investment trust, marking a first for an outdoor advertising business.

Prior to being named COO, Ianniello was CFO from 2009-2013. He joined CBS in 1997.