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Business

Exclusive: CBS, Viacom reunion talks already tense

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Opening sequence

Business

Exclusive: CBS, Viacom reunion talks already tense

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COMING UP:Exclusive: CBS, Viacom reunion talks already tense

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Transcript

00:00:01
>> The Viacom and CBS teams aren't even at the table yet to discuss a much talked about reunion, and there's already tension between Viacom majority owners, Shari and Summer Redstone, and CBS top executive Leslie Moonves. Reuters' Media Correspondent Jessica Toonkel, has the exclusive details on the power struggle.
00:00:19
>> One thing we have learned is that Shari wants to make sure that the five directors that she, earlier this year, put on the board of Viacom stay on the board of the combined company. On the other hand Les Moonves, the CEO of Viacom, wants to make sure he has autonomy to run the company as he chooses to.
00:00:38
Shari Redstone clearly wants Les to run the combined company, I don't think that's in dispute. I think how much control he has is what's gonna be the balancing acts.>> Complicating the matter, the two brands couldn't be coming to the top at a more different positions since they separated ten years ago.
00:00:57
Thanks to an election year boost in advertising and ratings, CBS just turned in its highest sales on record. On the other hand, Viacom is a mess. The parent of cable assets like MTV, Nickelodeon and Comedy Central is struggling in the post Jon Stewart-Stephen Colbert era. And its Paramount film studio has suffered flop after box office flop this year, including Star Trek Beyond, the latest Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles flick, Zoolander 2, and the Ben-Hur remake.
00:01:29
Yet there are tensions about what a combined company would even be called.>> The Redstones really want to keep the Viacom name. For Sumner Redstone he once said, I am Viacom, Viacom is me. This is his legacy. It could be called CBS Viacom, that could be the outcome.
00:01:45
It doesn't exactly roll off your tongue.>> But CBS believes it's in the stronger position to dictate the terms of the deal, even down to the name.