Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

CBS and Viacom reached a deal on Tuesday to merge into ViacomCBS Inc., reuniting the 2 companies 13 years after they split apart.

Why it matters: The deal will bring together Viacom's nearly two dozen cable channels with CBS' flagship broadcast network and its premium cable network, Showtime. The combined scale from the merger will help the new company broker stronger distribution deals with Pay-TV providers and allow it to better compete for audience attention and ad dollars.

Details: The all-stock merger creates a combined company with more than $28 billion in total revenue, according to ViacomCBS' press release.

  • Deal terms: The deal is expected to close by the end of the year. CBS shareholders will own approximately 61% of the combined company and existing Viacom shareholders will own approximately 39% on a fully diluted basis, per the release. Viacom shareholders will receive 0.59625 CBS shares for each of their shares. The deal values Viacom at $11.8 billion, which is slightly lower than its market capitalization as of Tuesday afternoon.
  • Leadership: As expected, Viacom CEO Bob Bakish has been appointed to run the new media behemoth, while acting CBS CEO Joe Ianniello will serve as chairman and CEO of CBS. Other top CBS executives will remain in their roles. CBS Chief Financial Officer Christina Spade will become EVP and chief financial officer of the company and Viacom Executive Vice President and General Counsel Christa D’Alimonte will become EVP, general counsel and secretary.
  • Board structure: As previously reported, the board of directors of the new company will consist of 13 members — 6 independent members from CBS, 4 independent members from Viacom, the President and CEO of ViacomCBS (Bob Bakish) and two National Amusements, Inc. (NAI) designees. Shari Redstone, the majority shareholder of both companies, will be appointed Chair.
  • Direction: The company plans to focus its growth efforts on direct-to-consumer products and producing and licensing content on third-party platforms. Its combined library will include more than 140,000 TV episodes and 3,600 movies.

The big picture: The companies have been dancing around a deal for the past 3 years, but drama over who would control the combined company has derailed progress. Now that longtime CBS CEO Les Moonves is out, Redstone finally had the leverage to push the deal over the finish line.

  • Redstone and National Amusements couldn't propose a deal for many more months, according to a 2018 settlement with CBS. However, the settlement didn't exclude the CBS or Viacom boards from proposing a merger themselves.

What's next: This deal could be the first part of a much bigger plan for Shari Redstone, the majority shareholder of both companies. Reports suggest that Redstone is looking to acquire other entities to give the combined company more scale.

  • Yes, but: A combined CBS-Viacom company would still be small compared to the entertainment giant created through the merger of Disney and most of Fox last year. It would also be much smaller than tech giants like Amazon and Netflix.

Go deeper

Updated 54 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 20,092,855 — Total deaths: 736,254 Total recoveries — 12,350,879Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 5,094,565 — Total deaths: 163,465 — Total recoveries: 1,670,755 — Total tests: 62,513,174Map.
  3. Politics: Trump claims he would have not called for Obama to resign over 160,000 virus deathsHouse will not hold votes until Sept. 14 unless stimulus deal is reached.
  4. Business: Richer Americans are more comfortable eating out.
  5. Public health: 5 states set single-day coronavirus case records last week — A dual coronavirus and flu threat is set to deliver a winter from hell.
  6. Sports: The cost of kids losing gym class — College football is on the brink.
  7. World: Europe's CDC recommends new restrictions amid "true resurgence in cases."
Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Trump whisked out of press briefing after shooting outside White House

President Trump was escorted out of a coronavirus press briefing by a Secret Service agent on Monday evening after law enforcement reportedly shot an armed suspect outside of the White House.

What's new: The 51-year-old suspect approached a uniformed Secret Service officer on the corner of 17th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue NW, near the White House, and said he had a weapon, the agency alleged in a statement late Monday. He "ran aggressively towards the officer, and in a drawing motion, withdrew the object from his clothing."

Updated 4 hours ago - World

Protests in Belarus turn deadly following sham election

Belarus law enforcement officers guard a street during a protest on Monday night. Police in Minsk have fired rubber bullets for a second night against protesters. Photo: Natalia Fedosenko/TASS via Getty Image

Protesters and security forces have been clashing across Belarus overnight in a second night of protests that has left at least one person dead, hundreds injured and thousands arrested.

Why it matters: Sunday’s rigged presidential elections have yielded political uncertainty unlike any seen in Aleksander Lukashenko’s 26-year tenure. After claiming an implausible 80% of the vote, Lukashenko is using every tool in the authoritarian arsenal to maintain his grip on power.