Viacom, CBS Shares Rise After Report Suggests New Merger Talks Have Started

Shares of both Viacom Inc. and CBS Corp. rose noticeably Friday after a new report suggested the two companies, both controlled by the Redstone family, could once again be considering the prospect of merging.

A report in The Wrap suggested Shari Redstone, president of the family’s National Amusements movie-theater chain, had recently sparked new discussions within the companies about a possible merger. Her father, Sumner Redstone, had combined CBS and Viacom in 2000, only to pull them apart six years later. National Amusements in September of 2016 formally requested that the boards of both companies consider the possibility of a new merger on an all-stock basis, then stopped the process at the end of that year.

CBS declined to comment. A Viacom spokesman did not immediately respond to a query seeking comment.

The report comes as more media companies are considering tie-ups that would give them a larger footprint in a sector that has been flummoxed by new
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