In the next several weeks, CBS’s board is expected to discuss potential candidates to succeed ousted CEO Les Moonves. It is also going to consider whether to restart talks to merge with Viacom, which like CBS is controlled by media mogul Shari Redstone, according to three people familiar with the situation. While the merger talks were expected to restart eventually, renewal now would be sooner than previously anticipated.
Underlying the discussion of both subjects: how to jumpstart CBS’s business, where profits have been flat for several years. Ms. Redstone, CBS vice chair, has for years voiced concerns with other board members that the broadcaster’s audience was aging and the company lacked scale, said two of the people. She argued, without getting much support, that strong ratings at the core CBS network masked its problems.