CBS, Viacom merger talks hit roadblock over who will be Moonves' second-in-command: Sources

Key Points
  • CBS has not made a formal offer to buy Viacom after social issues raised a roadblock in the talks.
  • CBS chief Les Moonves is seen staying at the combined company for at least two years.
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CBS, Viacom talks hit potential roadblock

Merger talks between CBS and Viacom have hit a snag, sources tell CNBC.

CBS has not made a formal bid for Viacom after social issues raised a potential roadblock, the sources said. Specifically the two sides are trying to decide who the second in command will be at the combined company.

The battle is between Joe Ianniello, the chief operating officer of CBS, and Bob Bakish, the CEO of Viacom, the sources said.

Les Moonves
Lauren Alperstein | CNBC

CBS CEO Les Moonves is to remain at the combined company for at least two years, sources confirmed to CNBC on Monday.

Moonves wants to pick his own management team at the combined company and favors Ianniello as his key lieutenant, the sources said. Meanwhile, Viacom and CBS controlling shareholder Shari Redstone is said to favor Bakish in that role, the sources told CNBC.