May 16, 2018

CBS fights for its future

Photo by Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

CBS is bringing its majority shareholder, National Amusements, to court Wednesday to fight for independence and stop a merger with cable network Viacom, also owned by National Amusements. At the same time, it’s also hosting its annual UpFront advertising presentation in New York Wednesday evening to convince advertisers that everything is fine.

Why it matters: It’s a historic split-screen moment for CBS. In one state it's fighting to lure marketers to save its linear TV business, and in another it's fighting a merger that would expand its linear TV business.

The bigger picture: A volatile media landscape is forcing rapid consolidation among media networks, tech companies and telecom providers. CBS wants to maintain its linear TV business, which brings in billions of advertising dollars, while also setting itself up for the future of TV: digital streaming.

  • The lawsuit, which CBS dropped spontaneously Monday, catching Redstone off guard, is meant to give CBS the freedom it wants to make merger decisions independently.
  • Sources tell Axios CBS would much rather tie its future to a company with a distribution arm, like a tech or telecom company, than a cable network like Viacom with long-tail channels that they think would bring it down in future retransmission fights with Pay-TV providers.

CBS also announced its new primetime lineup ahead of its Upfront presentation Wednesday, adding eight new series (five for the fall) and the return of the popular show ""Murphy Brown."

  • CBS' goal for the presentation is to tout its new primetime programming, the success of its longtime sports business, and its newer streaming businesses — CBS All Access and CBS Sports HQ.

Go deeper

DMV area issues coronavirus stay-at-home orders

Data: Axios reporting; Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam and District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser issued stay-at-home orders on Monday, with exceptions for residents engaged in essential services, including health care and government functions.

The big picture: The states and territory are the latest to announce policies to enforce social distancing, which have affected almost 250 million Americans. More than 1.5 billion people worldwide had been asked to stay home as of last week.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 3 mins ago - Health

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 p.m. ET: 766,336 — Total deaths: 36,873 — Total recoveries: 160,001.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in confirmed cases. Total confirmed cases as of 3 p.m. ET: 153,246 — Total deaths: 2,828 — Total recoveries: 5,545.
  3. Federal government latest: The White House will extend its social distancing guidelines until April 30 — Rep. Nydia Velázquez diagnosed with "presumed" coronavirus infection.
  4. State updates: Virginia and Maryland issued stay-at-home orders to residents, joining 28 other states — Florida megachurch pastor arrested for refusing to call off mass services.
  5. World updates: Italy reports 1,590 recoveries from the virus, its highest ever.
  6. In photos: Navy hospital ship arrives in Manhattan
  7. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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Cuomo: Engaging in politics during coronavirus crisis is "anti-American"

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said during a Monday press briefing that he won't get into a political tussle with President Trump — calling it "counterproductive" and "anti-American" — as his state deals with the most confirmed coronavirus cases in the country.

The backdrop: Trump said during an appearance on "Fox & Friends" earlier Monday that Cuomo has received high polling numbers during the outbreak because New York has received federal aid.