$25 billion merger between CBS and Viacom

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FILE – In this Feb. 13, 2012, file photo, a CBS logo is displayed on the exterior of CBS Scene Restaurant and Bar, at Gillette Stadium, in Foxborough, Mass. CBS and Viacom said Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2019, that they will reunite, bringing together their networks and the Paramount movie studio as traditional media giants bulk up to challenge streaming companies like Netflix. (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)

NEW YORK (WLNS) – After more than a decade apart, CBS and Viacom are reuniting.

The merger of the two media companies took effect on Wednesday afternoon, and ViacomCBS will start trading on the NASDAQ on Thursday morning. The equity value of the new business is about $25 billion.

Viacom properties include “Mission: Impossible,” “Star Trek” and “SpongeBob SquarePants,” and CBS is home to “NCIS,” “60 Minutes” and “Young Sheldon,” a breakout comedy that is owned by AT&T’s Warner Bros. but has become a durable hit for CBS.

Some analysts have questioned the deal, saying it may not be enough to fend off the decline in traditional television.

Shares of both CBS and Viacom have dropped about 20 percent since the merger was announced in August.

The merger is meant to make ViacomCBS a bigger player in digital entertainment than the two companies had been as separate entities, according to the New York Times.

CBS All Access and Showtime have more than eight million subscribers as well as feature originals such as the reboot of “Twilight Zone” and “Star Trek: Picard,” which is scheduled to have a January debut. Viacom’s free, ad-supported streaming service, Pluto, has more than 20 million viewers a month.

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