NEW YORK: Last week’s announcement of the dollars 37.3 billion Viacom/CBS mega-merger likely signaled the beginning of the end for Robinson, Lerer & Montgomery’s (RLM) longtime relationship with Viacom.
NEW YORK: Last week’s announcement of the dollars 37.3 billion
Viacom/CBS mega-merger likely signaled the beginning of the end for
Robinson, Lerer & Montgomery’s (RLM) longtime relationship with
Though RLM has worked closely with Viacom for nearly a decade, the IR
specialist also represents both NBC and America Online. These
affiliations create inescapable conflicts of interest with the CBS
empire, which includes extensive Internet holdings (MarketWatch, CBS
Sports-Line) that rival AOL’s financial and sports offerings.
RLM will continue to work for Viacom until the CBS merger is completed
in the middle of next year. At that point, the agency situation will
come to a head, likely resulting in RLM’s ouster.
Viacom SVP of corporate relations Carl Folta said it is ’logical’ to
assume that there is a strong conflict between RLM’s NBC/AOL business
and the Viacom/CBS holdings, but refused to discuss the future of the PR
In-house PR chiefs at Viacom and CBS selected its rival IR firm
Abernathy MacGregor, Frank to help announce the merger, by far the
biggest media deal of all time. The new company will be an dollars 80
billion media behemoth.
Though declining to speculate on RLM’s place in the soon-to-be-merged
company’s PR food chain, CBS SVP of corporate communications Gil
Schwartz praised the work done by Abernathy on last Tuesday’s merger
’There was a tsunami of press, all of it on-message. The two executives
(Viacom’s Sumner Redstone and CBS’s Mel Karmazin) have given more
interviews and had more pictures taken than Mick Jagger.’
Schwartz said it was ’clearly premature’ to discuss whether the two
corporate PR offices would be merged.