January 1, 2009 |
Max Abrams had no idea that he was being dragged into a multimillion-dollar corporate war between two media giants when he rolled into the Sherman Oaks headquarters of his father's company, Sober Vacations International, on Wednesday morning. But the first clue that he was caught in the middle of something ugly came in voicemails left overnight on the company's phone answering system. "This one person was mumbling, 'Don't take my Nickelodeon away, you dummies,' " Abrams said in an interview.
December 31, 2008 |
Time Warner Cable subscribers could lose "SpongeBob SquarePants," "Dora the Explorer" and Jon Stewart at midnight tonight if the cable company fails to agree on a new contract with one of its biggest suppliers. Viacom Inc. has threatened to pull its programming in a high-stakes showdown over pricing. Nearly 2 million homes in the Los Angeles area that are customers of Time Warner Cable Inc. could lose such Viacom channels as Nickelodeon, MTV, VH-1, Comedy Central, Spike, TV Land and BET.
November 4, 2008 |
Sumner Redstone hinted Monday that he might sell his family's movie theaters to fix his pressing debt problems. In a conference call with analysts, the 85-year old media mogul said his privately held National Amusements Inc., which operates 1,500 theaters, owns "valuable real estate holdings throughout the country." The company must come up with an $800-million debt payment next month as it negotiates with lenders to restructure $1.6 billion in loans. Redstone, during the call for Viacom Inc.'
October 14, 2008 |
Billionaire Sumner Redstone's National Amusements Inc. said Monday that it had sold $233 million worth of stock in Viacom Inc. and CBS Corp. to raise cash to comply with debt covenants -- $167 million less than the company said three days earlier that it would need.
October 11, 2008 |
Billionaire Sumner Redstone got caught in the credit crunch Friday. The 85-year-old mogul, who has long bragged about his financial savvy and competitive drive, was forced to sell a fifth of his family's stake in his two media companies -- Viacom Inc. and CBS Corp. -- on a day when the companies' shares were trading at record lows. It shows that even the wealthiest people are not immune to the meltdown in the markets and are being thrust into once-unimaginable situations.
July 30, 2008 |
Viacom Inc. said it withstood a weak U.S. advertising market in the second quarter with a strong film slate led by "Iron Man" and strong sales of the Rock Band video game. Revenue climbed 21% to $3.86 billion, topping analyst estimates, as New York-based Viacom's movie business surged 35% to $1.77 billion. Three films -- Paramount Pictures' "Iron Man" and "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull," as well as "Kung Fu Panda," which Paramount distributed for DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. -- have grossed $837 million at the domestic box office.
May 27, 2008 |
A $1-billion copyright infringement lawsuit challenging YouTube's ability to keep copyrighted material off its popular video-sharing Internet website threatens how hundreds of millions of people exchange all kinds of information, YouTube owner Google Inc. said. Google's lawyers made the claim in papers filed in U.S. District Court in New York as the company responded to Viacom Inc.'s latest lawsuit alleging that the Internet has led to "an explosion of copyright infringement" by YouTube and others.
February 29, 2008 |
Viacom Inc. reported a 16% gain in fourth-quarter earnings Thursday and said its advertising business hadn't been hurt by the slowdown in the economy. Philippe P. Dauman, Viacom's chief executive, told analysts that the company also benefited from a shift of ad dollars to cable television from broadcast during the just-concluded writers strike. Viacom earned $559.5 million, or 86 cents a share, in the quarter, up from $480.8 million, or 69 cents, in the same period a year earlier.
December 20, 2007 |
Microsoft Corp. won the right to deliver advertising on Viacom Inc.'s network of websites for the next five years Wednesday, the latest in a series of deals demonstrating the software titan's willingness to spend heavily to establish itself as a major player in online ads. The alliance announced Wednesday gave Microsoft a big partner in trying to catch up to Google Inc., the top broker of Internet advertising. Microsoft will displace DoubleClick Inc. in showing ads to Web surfers visiting MTV.
December 19, 2007 |
Viacom Inc.'s MTV and award-winning television and film producer Jerry Bruckheimer will launch a video game studio, marrying Hollywood and technology in what has been historically an uneasy alliance. Bruckheimer is the producer of Walt Disney Co.'s wildly successful "Pirates of the Caribbean" film franchise and TV hits such as "CSI."