New name reflects additional responsibilities in addition to selling to TV stations
After fourteen years as CBS Television Distribution, ViacomCBS’ syndication arm announced Monday it was rebranding as CBS Media Ventures. The decision to rebrand comes as the company feels it’s more than just a syndicator serving traditional TV outlets but also to streamers and creating digital content and running new diginet Dabl.
“Syndication has traditionally meant distribution, but as the media landscape has evolved so have we,” president Steve LoCascio said in a statement. “In addition to our core business of producing and distributing leading first-run series, we also have a robust ad sales and partnerships business, create digital content for multiple platforms and run the lifestyle network Dabl. This new name better reflects who we are and positions us for limitless opportunities in the future.”
The new CBS Media Ventures distributes eleven first-run syndicated shows, including the top-rated Judge Judy, the Sony-produced Wheel Of Fortune and Jeopardy!, Inside Edition, The Drew Barrymore Show, and Daily Mail TV, among others.
CBS Media Ventures also is the national ad rep for other syndicators, including Debmar-Mercury (Family Feud, Wendy Williams, etc.) and Fox First-Run’s Divorce Court and 25 Words Or Less (but not Dish Nation, who is repped by Trifecta Entertainment.)
CBS also has a large library of off-network programming, sold to various diginets such as MeTV and Antenna TV and to streaming services such as Peacock, its own CBS All Access (soon to rebrand as Paramount Plus) and Netflix. Last year, the company struck a deal with Netflix for the rights to stream several off-network sitcoms targeted to African-Americans, such as Girlfriends and Moesha.
This comes as under ViacomCBS, the network and related properties have rebranded and sported updated new looks. In fact, the five-note mnemonic sound you hear on CBS is now also being used for CBS Media Ventures’ closing syndication logo.
CBS is the latest syndication outfit owned by the major broadcast networks to rebrand their name. Last month, NBCUniversal Television Distribution announced they were rebranding as NBCUniversal Syndication Services while Disney/ABC Domestic Television rebranded as Disney Media Distribution quietly last fall, removing the ABC name from the outfit.
As of today, all stories tagged to CBS Television Distribution will now re-tagged CBS Media Ventures to reflect the name change.
CBS Television Distribution was formed in January 2007, merging together two separate syndication companies – CBS Paramount Television and King World (acquired by CBS in 1999) under one name, a year after CBS and parent company Viacom split with CBS Corporation taking all of the television properties. In 2019, both companies reunited under the ViacomCBS banner after Les Moonves was forced out of the company.
CBS had been in the syndication business as CBS Films and CBS Enterprises until 1971, when the network was forced to spin-off to CBS shareholders due to the then-implemented financial interest and syndication rules. The new company was named Viacom and grew to become a global powerhouse – so much so in 1999, Viacom acquired CBS four years after the fin-syn rules expired, reuniting the companies after 27 years apart.
Five years earlier, Viacom acquired Paramount Pictures, including its powerhouse syndication arm, Paramount Domestic Television.