Here's how much Viacom, CBS CEOs will make from merger deal

By Media & AdvertisingFOXBusiness

Viacom CEO Bob Bakish expected to lead combined CBS-Viacom company: Charlie Gasparino

FOX Business’ Charlie Gasparino discusses how Viacom CEO Bob Bakish is expected to lead the combined CBS-Viacom company.

Bob Bakish stands to become one of the highest-paid CEOs in the S&P 500 once the CBS-Viacom merger closes.

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Bakish, the Viacom chief executive who’s been pegged as the president and CEO of the combined company, ViacomCBS, is set to take a contract worth about $31 million per year. That’s a 55 percent increase from his current pay, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The four-year contract comes with a base salary of $3.1 million, according to the report. Bakish will also be eligible for $12.4 million in bonuses and a long-term incentive package worth $16 million.

Bakish would also receive a one-time stock grant of $5 million in shares once the deal closes, according to the report.


Joe Ianniello, the acting CBS CEO, will stay on as chairman and CEO of CBS at the combined business, reporting to Bakish, the Journal reported.

Ianniello’s salary will remain flat at $3 million, and so will his target bonuses, according to the report. However, he’ll receive a $70 million payout because of a provision in his contract that entitled him to a lump sum if CBS were merged and he wasn’t named CEO of the combined company.

He’ll also receive a one-time stock grant of 450,000 shares.

Christina Spade, the chief financial officer for CBS, will remain CFO for ViacomCBS with a base salary of $1.4 million, the Journal reported.

While Bakish will be bringing home high pay as CEO, he still won’t be earning as much as the companies’ previous chief executives. Les Moonves was paid more than $69 million at CBS each year in 2016 and ’17, according to the report. And Viacom paid Philippe Dauman $93 million in 2016.

The combined ViacomCBS has been valued at $27 billion. It will control a sizeable spread of media properties, including TV channels and movie studios.


If another offer comes along in the next two years that parent company National Amusements decides is a better value for shareholders than the merger, the companies can pay to terminate the deal. Viacom would have to pay CBS $373 million to break up the deal, while CBS would have to pay Viacom $560 million.