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Report: Redstone to fire Moonves if CBS/Viacom deal fails

An executive who opposed the merger.
Leslie Moonves speaking in Hollywood earlier this year. Photo: Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images

Shari Redstone, vice-chairwoman of National Amusements, the holding company for CBS and Viacom, is contemplating firing CBS chief Leslie Moonves, should merger talks between the two networks fail, CNBC reports.

Why it matters: Moonves was reportedly disinterested in a deal prior to the latest round of merger talks. The Wrap reported a few weeks ago that Moonves had become more interested. The news Tuesday shows that Redstone is willing to remove any executives that stand in the way of recombining the two companies.

Further drama: Aside from valuation, the other big drama facing this merger is who would lead the combined company. Viacom was vying to have chief Bob Bakish take the number two spot to Moonves, but removing Moonves would mean leadership talks would get even messier.