ViacomCBS CEO Bob Bakish Calls IATSE Deal “Beneficial For Everyone, Certainly Makes For A Simpler Morning”

Bob Bakish ViacomCBS

CEO of ViaomCBS Bob Bakish Monday expressed relief at a deal reached over the weekend between IATSE and the AMPTP ahead of a Sunday deadline on a new film and TV contract, calling it “beneficial” for all involved.

“Strikes are rarely a good thing,” he said at a conference. “We are happy that we were able to, together with our industry partners, come to an agreement. We think that agreement is beneficial for everyone and obviously prevents any disruption in content production. So yes we’re pleased with that, it and certainly makes for a simpler morning.”

“For what it’s worth, I thought we would get there. But you never know,” he said during a Q&A at the Wall Street Journal conference, Tech Live. IATSE still needs to ratify the deal and even as he spoke some members were walking back their expression of initial enthusiasm.

Media and entertainment CEOs will have the chance to weigh in on the contract deal as quarterly financials and earnings calls in the sector are set to kick off with Netflix on Tuesday afternoon. Bakish was also asked about the storm visited upon that streaming giant following Dave Chappelle’s latest standup show The Closer on Oct. 5, and co-CEO Ted Sarandos’ comments defending the airing of special.

“I don’t want to comment specifically on a competitor or what Ted said,” said Bakish. “I will say that for companies that are at scale serving people all around the world, there will be inevitably some content that we produce or exhibit in some shape or form that some people love and other people don’t like.”

“We are about serving audiences and we need to do it in the appropriate way. But if you are going to be in the mass market business you are going inevitably run into some of these issues and you have to manage them, finesse and ultimately, yeah, there may be some stuff you have to pull as you look at it. But it is not unusual to be there. We’ve been there before and unfortunately my guess is, we’ll be there again.”

ViacomCBS’ publisher Simon & Schuster – in the process of being sold to Penguin Random House parent Bertelsmann — is moving ahead with a two-book deal with former Vice President Mike Pence despite some employee outrage

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