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CALIFORNIA

Viacom Unites Foreign TV Sales

August 11, 2004|Meg James | Times Staff Writer

Viacom Inc. on Tuesday merged the international operations of two traditionally separate divisions: CBS and Paramount Television.

The move follows Leslie Moonves' promotion in June to co-president and co-chief operating officer of Viacom, and the departure of former Viacom Entertainment Group chief Jonathan Dolgen, who was in charge of Paramount.

"This move makes sense," Moonves said. "It's a perfect opportunity to save overhead costs ... and one of our priorities for the company's future is to look more globally."

The company is looking to expand its foreign sales, particularly in emerging markets such as Eastern Europe.

The new division will handle overseas sales of shows from Paramount television, CBS Entertainment, CBS News, King World, UPN and Paramount Pictures.

Paramount Television's roster includes Navy drama "JAG," the "Star Trek" television franchise and "Frasier," which ended its network run in May. CBS produces "Survivor" and "60 Minutes."

Former CBS broadcast international President Armando Nunez will manage the new group called CBS Paramount International Television.

New York-based Viacom's two domestic syndication companies, King World Productions and Paramount domestic television, will remain separate.

Viacom's class B shares rose 25 cents to $33.18 on the New York Stock Exchange.

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