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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

Tech scrambles to derail inauguration threats

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Tech companies are sharing more information with law enforcement in a frantic effort to prevent violence around the inauguration, after the government was caught flat-footed by the Capitol siege.

Between the lines: Tech knows it will be held accountable for any further violence that turns out to have been planned online if it doesn't act to stop it.

Dave Lawler, author of World
5 hours ago - World

Uganda's election: Museveni declared winner, Wine claims fraud

Wine rejected the official results of the election. Photo: Sumy Sadruni/AFP via Getty

Yoweri Museveni was declared the winner of a sixth presidential term on Saturday, with official results giving him 59% to 35% for Bobi Wine, the singer-turned-opposition leader.

Why it matters: This announcement was predictable, as the election was neither free nor fair and Museveni had no intention of surrendering power after 35 years. But Wine — who posed a strong challenged to Museveni, particularly in urban areas, and was beaten and arrested during the campaign — has said he will present evidence of fraud. The big question is whether he will mobilize mass resistance in the streets.

Off the Rails

Episode 1: A premeditated lie lit the fire

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. Axios takes you inside the collapse of a president with a special series.

Episode 1: Trump’s refusal to believe the election results was premeditated. He had heard about the “red mirage” — the likelihood that early vote counts would tip more Republican than the final tallies — and he decided to exploit it.

"Jared, you call the Murdochs! Jason, you call Sammon and Hemmer!”