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Viacom Names Bob Bakish To Top Post As CBS Merger Falls Through

NEW YORK (CelebrityAccess) — Viacom announced that they have named their Acting President and Chief Executive Officer Bob Bakish to the role permanently as the media conglomerate backs away from their bid to merge with CBS.

Mr. Bakish has served as Acting President and Chief Executive Officer of Viacom since he was appointed on November 15 and has held numerous leadership positions in the company since joining in 1997.

Prior to be appointed as acting CEO, Bakish helmed Viacom International Media Networks and its predecessor company MTV Networks International, since 2007, with oversight of all of Viacom’s media networks and related businesses outside the U.S.

This included oversight of Viacom's portfolio, which includes Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, Paramount Channel, BET, Spike and Nick Jr.

The news of Bakish's appointment comes at a time of transition for Viacom. It's long-standing chairman Sumner Redstone, had sought to merge CBS and Viacom to help the two media giants scale up to meet the challenges of the burgeoning on-demand content world and the deal falling through will likely lead the companies to seek a new partner. Redstone's daughter Sheri told the New York Times Dealbook conference last month that scale was key for both CBS and Viacom in order to provide them with enhanced pricing power as the distribution landscape shifts.

"Should Viacom remain independent, we think it will need a strategic partner to help co-finance a larger and more expensive film slate," Brean Murray analyst Alan Gould said in a research note on Monday, after news broke that they were dropping the merger talks. – Staff Writers