CBS News Could be Sold Should Apollo and Sony Acquire Paramount Global

By Mark Mwachiro 

The ongoing bidding war for Paramount Global has translated into unsettling times for the company’s various media assets, including CBS News. Two camps are vying to control the Shari Redstone-owned conglomerate, one led by Skydance Media and the other led by the unlikely pair of Sony Pictures Entertainment and Apollo Global Management.

Now, fresh reporting by The New York Times provides a preview of what might happen should the Sony/Apollo bid prevail. According to the Times, the potential new owners intends to offload Paramount’s linear and streaming properties, including the CBS stations and all of the company’s many cable channels, including MTV, BET Networks and Nickelodeon.

Paramount and the CBS group have been part of the Redstone family for many years, and Redstone would reportedly like to see them remain as a unit. But the $26 billion bid made by Apollo and Sony sees more value in Paramount’s movie studio and its library of intellectual property than the company’s linear assets.


One potential wrinkle to the plan is that government regulations would prevent Sony—a subsidiary of the Japan-based Sony Group—from holding licenses for U.S. broadcast stations. The Committee on Foreign Investment panel would have to clear the Sony/Apollo deal as well.

Should Paramount agree to the bid, though, Apollo could apply for the CBS license in lieu of its partner or Sony could promptly divest itself of the stations to potential suitors—and one eager buyer might be Warner Bros. Discovery.

While the David Zaslav-owned company counts CNN amongst its assets, it does not currently own a broadcast network. Interestingly enough, should WBD pursue the deal it would put a definitive end to the long-rumored combination of CBS and CNN—a pursuit that CNN founder Ted Turner began in the 1980s. Another possible scenario would see the CBS Stations group being acquired by either Nexstar or Tegna, which manage their own networks of local stations.

Either way, with the TV Upfronts in full swing, Paramount’s murky future adds a question mark to CBS’ planned presentations.