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OPINION
July 13, 2012
Re "DirecTV turns off Viacom networks," Business, July 12 Just when you start feeling cynical about our divided, uncompromising Congress, along comes Viacom and DirecTV, which are disputing fees for programming. They are restoring our faith in government by proving that the same unyielding, public-be-damned spirit can be found alive and thriving in the private sector. Fred Janssen Long Beach ALSO: Letters: Sports for all -- women included Letters: 'Obamacare' is what Republicans want Letters: San Bernardino won't be the last bankrupt city
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ENTERTAINMENT
April 1, 2014 | By Joe Flint
After the coffee. Before thinking of a good April Fools' Day joke. The Skinny: I don't want to hear any spoilers about the series finale of "How I Met Your Mother. " Although I haven't watched the show in maybe five years I've decided to catch up, so be considerate! Today's roundup includes some tough new FCC rules for local broadcasters. Also, the spec-script market heats up and "How I Met Your Mother" says goodbye. Daily Dose: Viacom, owner of cable channels MTV, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon, is still negotiating a new deal with National Cable Television Cooperative, which represents small cable operators.
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BUSINESS
November 11, 2011 | Times wire services
Viacom Inc., the owner of MTV Networks and Paramount studios, said it would transfer its stock listing to Nasdaq from the New York Stock Exchange to save on expenses. Its Class B shares will trade under ticker symbol VIAB and its Class A voting shares will trade under VIA, the company said Friday. A listing at Nasdaq, owned by Nasdaq OMX Group Inc., will be "more cost effective," Viacom said. Viacom, based in New York, reported fourth-quarter profit Thursday that exceeded analysts' estimates and added $6 billion for stock buybacks.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 26, 2014 | By Joe Flint
Small cable operators think Viacom, parent of MTV, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon and several other networks, is trying to squeeze them. The National Cable Television Cooperative -- which represents more than 800 primarily rural cable operators and negotiates programming deals on their behalf -- charged that Viacom wants to dramatically increase the fees to carry its channels to prices that are 40 times greater than the rate of inflation. NCTC President and Chief Executive Rich Fickle said Viacom was punishing small operators because it could no longer get the rate increases it was accustomed to from bigger distributors such as Comcast, Time Warner Cable and DirecTV.
BUSINESS
January 28, 2012 | By Meg James, Los Angeles Times
Billionaire Sumner Redstone last year got a 39% boost in compensation — to $21 million — for his role as executive chairman of Viacom Inc. But Viacom Chief Executive Philippe Dauman took home considerably less than he did in the company's previous fiscal year, when compensation totaling $84.5 million made him the highest-paid executive in corporate America. In 2011, Dauman got $43 million in salary, stock and other benefits, according to the company's proxy filed Friday with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 15, 2012 | By Meg James
Viacom is finally appealing to the middle of the country. Tuesday, Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway disclosed that it has begun buying stock in Viacom Inc., controlled by billionaire Sumner Redstone. Omaha-based Berkshire Hathaway, in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, said that during the first three months of the year it had acquired nearly 1.6 million shares in Viacom -- a stake worth $75.5 million. The market capitalization for Viacom -- which boasts the MTV Networks, the home of “Jersey Shore,” Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, BET, TV Land and Paramount Pictures -- is nearly $27 billion.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 26, 2013 | By Joe Flint
Cablevision Systems Corp., one of the nation's biggest pay-TV distributors, has filed a lawsuit against Viacom, parent of popular cable channels such as MTV, Nickelodeon and Comedy Central. At issue is how Viacom sells its cable networks to pay-TV distributors. Cablevision said Viacom forces it to carry low-rated channels in return for access to its stronger networks. “The manner in which Viacom sells its programming is illegal, anti-consumer, and wrong," Cablevision charged in a statement.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 3, 2012 | By Meg James
Viacom Inc.'s profit fell short of Wall Street's expectations as the company continued to struggle with ratings declines at Nickelodeon and other cable networks while worldwide theatrical revenue took a nose dive. For the April-June period, the New York-based media company controlled by mogul Sumner Redstone generated net income of $534 million, or $1.01 a share, compared with $574 million, or 99 cents, for the year-earlier period.  Fiscal third-quarter revenue came in at $3.24 billion, a 14% decline from $3.77 billion in the prior year period.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 21, 2013 | By Meg James
Television personality Deborah Norville and Cristiana Falcone Sorrell, wife of one of the advertising industry's most influential executives, have joined the board of media company Viacom Inc. Norville, who rose to fame as co-host of NBC's "Today" show in 1990, has been the anchor of the syndicated newsmagazine show "Inside Edition" for more than 15 years.  Falcone Sorrell serves as an adviser to the chairman of the World Economic Forum....
BUSINESS
February 12, 2010 | By Meg James
Cost-cutting and robust holiday-season sales of "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" and "Star Trek" DVDs propelled Viacom Inc. to a fourfold increase in fourth-quarter profit. Viacom reported Thursday that it earned $694 million, or $1.14 a share, compared with $172 million, or 28 cents, a year earlier. The jump in earnings was, in large part, because of a $454-million restructuring charge taken in the period in 2008. Revenue, however, fell 3% to $4.1 billion for the quarter, reflecting continued weakness in the TV advertising market.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 19, 2014 | By Joe Flint
After the coffee. Before deciding whether to see "Nymphomaniac" now or wait for the edited version on cable. The Skinny: Caught Sunday's "The Walking Dead" last night where the Lizzie character got Fredo'd. Godfather fans will get the reference. Tough to watch, but she had to go. Wednesday's roundup includes a recap of Disney's annual meeting and Viacom's settling of a long legal fight with Google's YouTube. Also, a profile of NBC Entertainment chief Bob Greenblatt.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 4, 2014 | By Joe Flint
There may be 500 channels and almost $80 billion in advertising and subscriber revenue in the television industry, but most of that content and cash is controlled by a handful of companies. In a new report on the U.S. media industry, Sanford C. Bernstein analyst Todd Juenger notes that a handful of media giants control the advertising and subscription pies. According to Juenger, fees that pay-TV distributors pay for content is now about $40 billion while advertising is an additional $37 billion.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 30, 2014 | By Meg James
Media company Viacom Inc. reported 16% higher profit in its fiscal first quarter but revenue dipped -- raising worries on Wall Street about a slow-down in domestic advertising sales. But blame Paramount Pictures, the Los Angeles-based movie studio, for  Viacom's lower revenue in the quarter ended Dec. 31. Studio revenue plunged 30% to $681 million because of fewer movie releases compared to the year-earlier period. TIMELINE: Best Super Bowl commercials Paramount lost $74 million in the quarter, which was an improvement over the previous year period when the studio lost $139 million.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 24, 2014 | By Meg James
Although he rarely makes it into the office these days, Sumner Redstone continues to collect a handsome executive compensation package. The 90-year-old controlling shareholder of Viacom Inc. received a package valued at $36.2 million in 2013 in his role as executive chairman of the New York cable television and movie company, according to a filing Friday with the Securities and Exchange Commission. That represented a 50% increase over Redstone's 2012 Viacom compensation of $24.2 million.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 15, 2014 | By Joe Flint
After the coffee. Before getting ready for American Idol's return. The Skinny: Got caught up in "Gross Pointe Blank" last night. An underrated film! I love the shrink scenes with John Cusack and Alan Arkin. Anyway, Wednesday's roundup includes the latest on the Charter Communications-Time Warner Cable situation. Also, why Hollywood should pay attention to the net-neutrality ruling, plus Viacom's new Nickelodeon channel. Daily Dose: Discovery Communications has tapped JB Perrette as its new president of Discovery Networks International.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 9, 2014 | By Joe Flint
After the coffee. Before the first of many trips to Pasadena. The Skinny: The winter version of the Television Critics Assn. press tour kicks off today in Pasadena. Are you as excited as I am? Actually, it's not so bad (good schmoozing and free food) and I love racing up and down the 110 Freeway (hope no traffic cops are reading this). Today's roundup includes Vince McMahon's plans for a WWE network. Also, Viacom and CBS chief talks business and pleasure and a review of IFC's miniseries parody "The Spoils of Babylon.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 20, 2012 | By Joe Flint
SpongeBob SquarePants and Snooki are coming back to DirecTV. Cable programming giant Viacom and satellite broadcaster DirecTV reached a deal early Friday morning, ending a nine-day battle that left about 20 million homes without more than a dozen popular channels including MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central and VH1. The dispute related to the fees that Viacom was seeking for its programming, which DirecTV viewed as a steep hike. In a statement, DirecTV executive vice president Derek Chang said, "We are very pleased to be able to restore the channels to our customers and thank them for their unprecedented patience and support.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 21, 2012 | By Meg James
A shareholder has sued Viacom Inc., Executive Chairman Sumner Redstone and other company directors, contending the New York media company overpaid Redstone and his top two lieutenants by more than $36 million over four years. Robert Freedman, a Viacom shareholder since 2005, contends the formula used to calculate bonuses for Viacom's top executives was based on broad terms that are difficult to quantify, including "vision and leadership" and "continuing to navigate economic challenges.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 24, 2013 | By Joe Flint
Time Warner Cable and Viacom Inc., parent of popular channels MTV, Nickelodeon and Comedy Central, have renewed their long-term distribution agreement. The current contract between the two media powerhouses was due to expire at the end of the year. However, the talks went smoothly and neither side felt the need to go public with negotiations and run ads attacking each other. That scenario has often played out for consumers.  "We're pleased to have reached agreement in advance of our deadline," said Melinda Witmer, Time Warner Cable's executive vice president and chief video and content officer.  Under the terms of the deal, Time Warner Cable also agreed to offer Epix, the pay-TV movie channel that Viacom co-owns, to its subscribers.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 4, 2013 | By Joe Flint
After the coffee. Before digging out some sweaters. The Skinny: You know you are getting old when you don't have the energy for cocktail parties anymore. Of course, the whole getting up at 5:30 a.m to do this may have something to do with my lack of evening energy. Anyway, before I fall and can't get up, here's your Morning Fix. Headlines include results of the New York Film Critics Awards. Also bad news for silent movie aficionados. Daily Dose: According to Time Warner Cable's website, the pay-TV distributor's contract to carry Viacom's cable networks, including MTV, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon, is due to expire soon.
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