Photo: Sam Mellish/In Pictures via Getty Images

ViacomCBS is looking to sell Simon & Schuster, the nearly 100-year-old publishing business, ViacomCBS CEO Bob Bakish said Wednesday.

Why it matters: The possible move comes as part of the company's plan to shed noncore assets to better focus on its core businesses: video and streaming.

Details: "[W]e’ve made the determination that Simon & Schuster is not a core asset of the company," Bakish said at an investor conference in San Fransisco. "It is not video-based, it doesn’t have significant connectivity to our broader business."

  • Bakish said he's received multiple inbound calls for the publisher, and he expects it to be an easy sell. According to the Wall Street Journal, ViacomCBS expects north of $1 billion for the asset.
  • The publisher has for decades sold classic titles from storied authors such as F. Scott Fitzgerald and Stephen King.

The big picture: Bakish stressed that managing the newly merged company's balance sheet is a focus, which is why ViacomCBS is looking to explore dumping noncore assets.

  • He noted that the company is already engaged in conversations with buyers to sell CBS’s Manhattan headquarters building, known as Black Rock, and that the company anticipates closing that deal in 2020.
  • "[R]est assured, we are going to continue to look for other places where we believe there’s opportunities to dispose of assets in an accretive way," he said.

What's next: Bakish seemed to indicate that the sale process was underway and would be completed by year's end. He noted the sale "will produce material cash in 2020.”

Go deeper

CO2 emissions may have peaked, but that's not enough

Reproduced from DNV GL; Chart: Axios Visuals

More analysts are making the case that COVID-19 could be an inflection point for oil use and carbon emissions, but it's hardly one that puts the world on a sustainable ecological path.

Driving the news: The risk advisory firm DNV GL, citing the pandemic's long-term effects on energy consumption, projects in a new analysis that global CO2 emissions "most likely" peaked in 2019.

U.S. economy added 4.8 million jobs in June

Data: Bureau of Labor Statistics; Chart: Axios Visuals

The U.S. economy added 4.8 million jobs last month, while the unemployment rate dropped to 11.1% from 13.3% in May, according to government data released Thursday.

The state of play: While the labor market showed more signs of recovery when the government’s survey period ended in early June, the lag means that more recent developments, like the surge in coronavirus cases and resultant closures in some states, aren't captured in this data.

1.4 million Americans filed for unemployment last week

Photo: Wang Ying/Xinhua via Getty Images

Another 1.4 million Americans filed for unemployment last week, the Department of Labor announced Thursday.

Why it matters: New applications for unemployment remain historically high, suggesting layoffs are still widely prevalent. However, they remain well below the all-time record seen when the coronavirus pandemic first hit.