On New Year’s Day 2006, a separation of two media companies that had once been separate in the past became official. CBS Corporation, a subsidiary of Viacom, had completed its spinoff — a move designed to put its “slower-growth” broadcasting and publishing operations into one company while its “faster-growing” movie and advertising-supported cable units went into another company.
What a difference 13 1/2 years makes. With Viacom-owned Paramount Pictures having experienced huge losses in 2016 and cord-cutting one of the biggest problems facing the cable TV industry, the idea of two separate companies doesn’t make much sense anymore for No. 1 shareholder National Amusements Inc., led by Shari Redstone.
As such, the most anti-climatic announcement in years finally arrived from CBS Tuesday afternoon — it is reunifying with Viacom. But, the initial separation in January 2006 is worth a look today.