September 26, 2018 / 12:03 AM / 2 months ago

CBS names Richard Parsons interim chairman of board

FILE PHOTO: Richard Parsons speaks at a forum titled "Beyond Primetime, will media help grow healthier kids" in New York February 6, 2007. REUTERS/Chip East/File Photo

(Reuters) - CBS Corp (CBS.N) on Tuesday named Richard Parsons, a former Time Warner Inc chief executive, as interim chairman of its board as the company renews its push to merge with Viacom Inc (VIAB.O).

Shari Redstone, who with her father Sumner Redstone controls both CBS and Viacom through National Amusements Inc, had wanted to recombine the media companies after failing to do so in 2016 but in court filings NAI indicated that it no longer supported a merger.

“Dick Parsons has a combination of deep industry knowledge and unmatched corporate and board experience,” Candace Beinecke, chair of the board’s nominating and governance committee, said in a statement.

Parsons, 70, led Time Warner as chief executive officer from 2002 to 2007 and as chairman from 2003 to 2009. He has also served as chairman of Citigroup and as an interim CEO of the Los Angeles Clippers.

The former Time Warner CEO’s appointment to his new role comes less than a month after the resignation of Leslie Moonves amid a new wave of allegations of sexual assault and harassment.

Moonves stepped down as chairman, chief executive officer and president of CBS on Sept. 9.

The media company also said Bruce Gordon and William Cohen, who have served on its board since CBS became a standalone public company in 2006, have decided to step down from their posts to focus on other personal and professional priorities.

(Corrects tense of verb in second paragraph to make clear NAI no longer supports a merger)

Reporting by Aakash Jagadeesh Babu in Bengaluru; Editing by Leslie Adler and Lisa Shumaker

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