Bakish will get a big raise as head of ViacomCBS; Ianniello committed to stay on until 2021

Viacom President and Chief Executive Bob Bakish will hold the same titles with the combined ViacomCBS.
Viacom President and Chief Executive Bob Bakish will hold the same titles with the combined ViacomCBS.
(Jesse Grant / Getty Images for Viacom)

Viacom President and Chief Executive Bob Bakish is in line for a big pay increase after the completion of his company’s reunification with CBS.

Bakish, who will be president and chief executive of ViacomCBS once the proposed merger of the media conglomerates is complete, will have an annual base salary of $3.1 million and is eligible to receive equity compensation with a target of $16 million and a cash bonus of $12 million, according to documents filed Monday with the Securities and Exchange Commission. He will also get a one-time grant of stock worth $5 million.

For the record:

5:47 PM, Aug. 19, 2019An earlier version of this story omitted the last name of director Barbara Byrne.

5:47 PM, Aug. 19, 2019

Bakish earned $19.9 million in salary, bonuses and stock last year.

The filings also show that CBS Corp. President and acting Chief Executive Joe Ianniello will remain with the merged company for at least 15 months after the completion of the all-stock transaction, which is expected by the end of this year.


CBS, which is the larger of the two companies and worth $18.5 billion, will absorb the smaller Viacom, which owns such assets as cable networks MTV and Comedy Central, and the Paramount Pictures movie studio in Hollywood, in the long-gestating deal announced Aug. 13. The companies were decoupled in 2006 after functioning as one corporate entity from 2000 to 2005.

The filing also notes that Ianniello — who will take on the title of chairman and chief executive officer of CBS and continue overseeing the business units that currently report to him — will receive a contractually obligated payment for being passed over as head of the merged media companies.

The filing does not say how much Ianiello will receive, but it has been previously reported that his contract entitled him to $70 million. Ianniello will also receive 450,000 shares of stock in the new company after the close.

Ianniello’s annual compensation is unchanged. In 2018, he earned $27.4 million in salary and bonuses.


Previously, Ianniello was top deputy to ousted CBS Chairman Leslie Moonves and the company’s chief operating officer since 2013. He spearheaded the company’s acquisition of Network 10 in Australia and the spinoff of CBS Radio through a merger with Entercom. Earlier, he was responsible for the billboard division — CBS Outdoor — morphing into a real-estate investment trust. He also helped launch the streaming platform CBS All Access.

Bakish was named president and chief executive of Viacom in December 2016. A 22-year veteran of the company, he has been credited with reviving its movie studio, Paramount Pictures, and stabilizing the ratings declines at its cable networks.

The board of the merged company will have 13 members, six of whom are from the CBS board: Candace Beineke, Barbara Byrne, Brian Goldner, Linda M. Griego, Susan Schuman and Frederick O. Terrell. Four Viacom directors — Judith McHale, Ronald Nelson, Charles E Phillips, Jr. and Nicole Seligman — will join the new board.

The board also includes Bakish, Viacom Chairwoman Shari Redstone and Robert Klieger, the attorney representing the Redstone family’s holding company National Amusements.


Three CBS board members — Gary Countryman, Martha Minow and Strauss Zelnick — who has served as board chairman since Oct. 2018, will not make the transition to the new company.