What the CBS-Viacom merger means for employees, the future of TV, and the next round of deal-making

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  • CBS and Viacom have agreed to reunite, creating another US media powerhouse that could be better positioned to compete with Netflix and media giants Disney and Comcast.
  • The deal-making may not end there. Executives from the two companies are reportedly considering other acquisitions as well.
  • Business Insider reported on how Viacom insiders feel about the merger, what's next for CBS and Viacom, and how the combination could bolster their streaming services.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

CBS and Viacom finally agreed this week to reunite, after splitting 13 years ago, in an all-stock deal that could create another US media powerhouse.

The deal brings together CBS' broadcast, sports, and news networks, Showtime, and streaming services like CBS All Access, with Viacom's movie studio Paramount Pictures and array of international TV networks like Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, MTV, and BET. It also pools the two companies' production resources, and creates a vast advertising portfolio.

The feeling at Viacom internally, based on Business Insider's interviews with a half dozen current and former employees, is relief that the deal is finally done and anxiety around what comes next.

Recent major media tie ups, like Disney's acquisition of 21st Century Fox and AT&T's merger with WarnerMedia, led to layoffs and staff changes.

Check out what Viacom insiders are saying about the deal: INSIDE VIACOM: What employees are saying about the blockbuster CBS merger and think will happen next

Some Viacom staffers have been put at ease by Viacom CEO Bob Bakish's rise in power. Bakish was chosen by CBS and Viacom's board to lead the combined company, to be called ViacomCBS.

Read more about the proposed leadership structure: Viacom CEO Bob Bakish's power grab during the CBS merger has put some employees at ease, but Wall Street has major concerns about the leadership structure

But the deal-making may not end with one merger. Executives from both companies said on a call with analysts this week that they'll continue looking for opportunities to grow their businesses, and that their merger will put them in better financial shape to jump on future deals.

Discovery, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Starz, and its owner Lions Gate are some of the companies thought to be of interest to CBS and Viacom.

Read more about what's next for CBS and Viacom: M&A experts break down what Viacom and CBS could buy next, from ad-tech to James Bond

One big upside to deal, and reason we may see more combinations like it, is that it could help CBS and Viacom scale their streaming services and production resources to better compete - and sell movies and TV shows to - media giants like Netflix, Disney, and Comcast.

Read more about how the deal could help bolster CBS and Viacom's streaming services: 3 big ways CBS merging with Viacom could help it fight Netflix - and one downside to the deal

Are you a CBS or Viacom insider with a tip for another story? Let me know at ARodriguez@businessinsider.com.

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