Business

Viacom, CBS are talking merger: sources

Discussions could signal change in TV CEO's position

FILE PHOTO:  A woman exits the Viacom Inc. headquarters in New York, U.S. on April 30, 2013.  REUTERS/Lucas Jackson/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: A woman exits the Viacom Inc. headquarters in New York, U.S. on April 30, 2013. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson/File Photo

Viacom CEO Bob Bakish and CBS Corp. CEO Leslie Moonves have had an exploratory discussion about merging the two companies, sources familiar with the situation told Reuters on Thursday.

The discussion signifies a potential first step toward a recombination of CBS and Viacom.

The boards of both companies regularly have scheduled meetings in the next couple weeks and are expected to discuss the potential merger, the sources said.

The discussion, which took place earlier this month, were preliminary and no decisions have been made, but they signal that Moonves, who has had reservations about a potential deal between the companies, could be more open to the idea.

The sources wished to remain anonymous because they are not permitted to speak to the media.

Viacom and CBS declined to comment. A spokeswoman for Shari Redstone, vice chairwoman of both boards, did not immediately return calls.

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