March 4, 2020 / 5:41 PM / a month ago

ViacomCBS explores options for publishing unit Simon & Schuster

March 4 (Reuters) - ViacomCBS Inc said on Wednesday it was exploring options for its publishing unit Simon & Schuster, as the company looks to focus on its advertising and upcoming streaming businesses.

“It is not video-based, it doesn’t have significant connectivity to our broader business,” Chief Executive Officer Robert Bakish said referring to the publishing unit, at Morgan Stanley’s annual investor conference in San Francisco.

Bakish added the non-core unit, behind popular books “Howard Stern Comes Again” by Howard Stern and “The Institute” by Stephen King, was receiving multiple offers.

Simon & Schuster generated a revenue of $814 million in 2019, accounting for 3% of the company’s total revenue. In comparison, the advertising unit reported sales of $11.07 billion during the same period.

Viacom and CBS completed their merger in December in their third attempt since 2016, aiming to gird against competition in a rapidly consolidating media universe.

ViacomCBS is preparing to create a new streaming video service built off of its existing CBS All Access service that will offer free, paid and a premium tier subscription service, a source familiar with the matter said in February.

Reporting by Amal S in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli

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