EARNINGS CALL

CBS-Viacom Merger To Close Next Month

CBS Corp. CEO Joe Ianniello told analysts this morning that in the third quarter, growth was driven by an 18% increase in subscriber fees: retrans, reverse comp and virtual MVPDs. Station revenues decreased 6% to $406 million, attributed to the lack of political advertising compared to a year earlier and the impact of the AT&T blackout.

QUARTERLY REPORT

CBS Beats 3Q Earnings Estimates

CBS revealed third-quarter 2019 financials early Tuesday morning, reporting a mixed bag of results. Though revenue slightly grew from the comparable quarter last year, CBS missed media analysts’ forecasts by $60 million. Reverse comp and virtual MVPD revenues grew 18%, and total affiliate and subscription fees grew 12%, representing more than a third of its overall revenue in the quarter.

CBS Exec To Receive $100M Package

Acting CBS Chief Executive Joe Ianniello, who will become chairman and CEO of CBS once Viacom merges with CBS, will bank a hefty payout of $100 million when the deal closes, sources say. That’s up from the $70 million he was already set to pocket in severance for not being named head of the newly combined company — despite staying on in his current job.

CBS Sets Midseason Premiere Dates

Rookie dramas FBI: Most Wanted and Tommy and the final season of Criminal Minds are on tap for the winter.

Nets Agree To Graham’s STELAR Expiration Plan

Three of the Big Four broadcast networks have agreed to insure their viewers don’t lose access to distant signals if Congress lets the STELAR compulsory satellite license expire at year’s end, according to letters from those nets, and the fourth is about to do the same, according to a source familiar with the network’s thinking.

Keegan-Michael Key, Venus Williams To Head CBS Sports Game Show

Queen Latifah To Star In ‘Equalizer’ Reboot At CBS

Broadcasters Move To Kill Locast Counterclaims

The Big Four networks have opened another front in their battle with Locast, the startup behind a free service that streams local TV signals in several large U.S. markets. In their latest move, ABC, NBCUniversal, CBS and Fox have urged a New York court to dismiss recent counterclaims filed by Locast and to instead focus on what the broadcasters claim to be Locast’s “wholesale violation of the Copyright Act.”

Viacom, CBS Move Closer To Closing Merger

Viacom and CBS said their merger is getting nearer to completion and that a closing is now expected in early December. The companies said that the merger proposals have been approved by National Amusements, the investment company owned by the Redstone family that controls both Viacom and CBS.

Wall Street Trims ViacomCBS Forecasts

Top media analysts have cut their short-term growth prospects for ViacomCBS following last week’s financial disclosures that came as part of the closing of CBS Corp.’s stock-swap takeover deal for Viacom.

CBS Renews ‘Evil,’ Gives Full Seasons To Others

CBS is doubling down on all its new shows. The network has renewed Evil for a second season, and handed out full-season orders to its other four freshman series: All Rise, Carol’s Second Act, The Unicorn and Bob Hearts Abishola.

CBS: There Was No ‘Judge Judy’ Library Sale

In new court papers in an ongoing lawsuit, it’s also argued that Judith Sheindlin’s emails with a long-time CBS attorney are protected under attorney-client privilege.

New ‘Carol’ Tops Among Attentive Viewers

Depending on the Nielsen metric, CBS comedy Carol’s Second Act was either the third- or fourth-most-watched series premiere in the week of Sept. 23. In terms of how closely its viewers watched, however, the Patricia Heaton-led series may be the No. 1 newcomer of the fall.

CBS Lands Chuck Lorre Buddy Sitcom

CBS, Chuck Lorre’s broadcast home for the past 16 years, has landed the next multi-camera sitcom from the comedy king. The network has given a pilot production commitment to The United States of Al, from The Big Bang Theory co-creator/executive producer Lorre, fellow Big Bang executive producers David Goetsch and Maria Ferrari, TV personality and scholar of religious studies Reza Aslan and Warner Bros. TV.

CBS Bans TV Ad That Depicts Menstruating Men

CBS Hit With $1M Discrimination Suit

Moving ever closer to its reunion with Viacom, CBS on Tuesday finds its corporate culture again under the spotlight in a $1 million-plus discrimination and retaliation lawsuit from the company’s former director of international treasury.

Streamer Locast Sues Big 4 Networks

The streamer alleges that ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC are engaged in sham copyright litigation and are colluding to deny consumers over-the-air signals they once committed to make freely available.

Classic ‘Twilight Zone’ Eps Coming To Theaters

Fathom and CBS Home Entertainment will celebrate the 60th anniversary of Rod Serling’s The Twilight Zone by bringing digitally restored versions of six quintessential episodes to theaters across the country on Nov. 14.

Amazon’s Benson To Succeed CBS’s Schweitzer

Mike Benson will succeed George Schweitzer as the head of marketing at CBS, a transition that will see Schweitzer, who has been with CBS since 1972, take on the role of chairman of marketing at CBS and transition in the spring into an adviser to the company.

WarnerMedia, CBS, Viacom Nets Drop E-Cig Ads

Television and streaming channels owned by WarnerMedia, CBS and Viacom will no longer run ads for e-cigarettes or e-cigarette products, including for industry powerhouse Juul, the companies said Wednesday.

‘SEAL Team’ Showrunner Steps Down After CBS Investigation

CBS Credit Union Manager Gets 14 Years For $40M Embezzlement

CBS, Viacom Goal: ‘Virtuous’ Content Ecosystem

David Nevins, chief creative officer of CBS and chairman-CEO of Showtime Networks says that leaders of the two companies are looking for opportunities to create a “virtuous ecosystem” for content that can prosper across the various platforms of the two companies.

Va. Official Sues CBS News For $400M

Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax filed a $400 million defamation lawsuit today against CBS Corp. and CBS Broadcasting in New York, alleging the network published false statements by two women who have accused him of sexual assault.

FALL PREVIEW

Can The Kings Be TV’s Next Super Producers?

The new CBS thriller Evil represents a big step for the showrunners Michelle and Robert King, who have yet to find a hit outside the Good Wife universe.

NEWS ANALYSIS

EAS Fine Against CBS Raises 1st Amend. Debate

False EAS alerts have typically popped up in commercials as a way of getting jaded viewers’ and listeners’ attention, which makes them challenging to successfully defend. But what happens when the use of the alert tone is not in an ad, like in the case of its inclusion by CBS in an episode of Young Sheldon? The FCC is effectively claiming that CBS falsely yelled “fire” in a crowded theater, which is the well-established exception to First Amendment protections.  CBS, on the other hand, is countering that it only yelled “boogeyman,” and that any reasonable viewer isn’t going to panic, because the public knows the difference between real and fictional things.

FCC To Fine CBS $272,000 For EAS Tone In Show

The commission says the fine for an episode of Young Sheldon reinforces its rule that Emergency Alert System tones must only be used for real emergencies and authorized testing.

TV Nets Need NFL Ratings Rebound To Continue

The NFL returned to the national spotlight on Thursday night, but it remains to be seen if TV’s biggest draw can continue the ratings renaissance it experienced last season. Television networks rely heavily on the NFL. Games and NFL-related programming accounted for 63% of Fox’s gross ratings points last season, according to MoffettNathanson. ESPN, CBS and NBC all got about a quarter of their aggregate gross ratings points from NFL content.

Daytime Head Angelica McDaniel Exits CBS

Longtime exec Angelica McDaniel has exited her post as EVP of daytime programs, CBS Entertainment. McDaniel leaves amid a restructuring that will see her department absorbed by current programming, headed by Amy Resisenbach.

‘Big Brother’ Renewed For Season 22

The Big Brother house will keep its doors open for at least one more summer. CBS has renewed the long-running reality series for Season 22, set to air in Summer 2020. Julie Chen Moonves, who has hosted the show since its inception, also will be back for the 22nd cycle.

Nexstar & AT&T Reach New Retrans Deal

The multi-year deal, which covers DirecTV, AT&T TV and U-verse, ends a nearly two-month impasse. Terms were not disclosed.

CBS Chief Ianniello Touts Reforms

With his company poised to merge once more with fellow media conglomorate Viacom, CEO Joe Ianniello on Tuesday addressed CBS’s diversity and inclusion efforts in a company-wide memo.

NCIS: Cote de Pablo’s Return As Ziva Will Last Longer Than We Thought

Can Ianniello Pave CBS’s Future Under Viacom?

Once the heir apparent to disgraced CBS chief Leslie Moonves, Joe Ianniello will now steer the legendary media company through its second incarnation with Viacom.

Viewers Ask What’s Edited Out Of ‘Big Brother’

Sharp-eyed online viewers say they are watching something very different than what’s on TV.

TVN FOCUS ON ADVERTISING

TVN Focus | NFL’s TV Partners Scoring Big Once Again

Upfront ad sales spending by agencies reaches $2.4 billion. That’s about $300 million more than last season at this same time, and is largely because every one of those networks saw regular season ratings increases for their NFL telecasts last season.

James Corden Extends CBS Contract

Corden has signed a new contract that will keep him installed as host of The Late Late Show through August 2022. His current contract, signed in 2014 when he was announced as the successor to Craig Ferguson, was set to expire after the 2019-20 season.

CBS Cancels ‘Instinct’ After 2 Seasons

Series creator Michael Rauch announced the cancellation Friday on Twitter, writing, “I’m very sad to relay the news that @instinctcbs won’t be renewed for a 3rd season. We will double up this Sunday and our season/series finale will be Aug 25.”

Hall Of Famer Jack Whitaker Dies At 95

Jack Whitaker, whose Hall of Fame broadcasting career ranged from the first Super Bowl to Secretariat’s Triple Crown to short essays from major sporting events, died Sunday morning at 95.

The CBS And Viacom Merger, Explained

Combining TV programming like NCIS, The Daily Show and Billions under one company isn’t enough in 2019 to compete with other big media companies.