Apr 11, 2018

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

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.

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Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

Nigeria confirmed its first novel coronavirus case in an Italian who flew to Lagos from Milan — the first known case in sub-Saharan Africa. The World Health Organization has been working to prepare Africa's health care systems to be ready for the outbreak, which is now also confirmed in Algeria and Egypt.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed more than 2,850 people and infected over 83,700 others in some 50 countries and territories. The novel coronavirus is now affecting every continent but Antarctica, and the WHO said Wednesday the number of new cases reported outside China has exceeded those inside the country for the first time.

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Ad spending on 2020 primary tops $1 billion

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Spending on the 2020 presidential primary has officially surpassed the $1 billion mark, with more than half of that total coming from billionaire Michael Bloomberg, according to data from Advertising Analytics.

Why it matters: It's the most money that has been spent this early on in an election cycle in U.S. history.

The growing coronavirus recession threat

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

In just a matter of weeks, top economists and investment bank analysts have gone from expecting the coronavirus outbreak to have minimal impact on the U.S. economy to warning that an outright recession may be on the horizon.

What's happening: The spread of confirmed coronavirus cases in Europe, the Middle East and the U.S., and the speed at which they are being discovered has set the table for the outbreak to have a larger and much costlier impact.