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September 23, 2006 | From Reuters
Viacom Inc.'s MTV Networks said it would buy Harmonix Music Systems Inc., a maker of music-related video games, for $175 million in its latest move to expand its digital business. Harmonix is the developer of Guitar Hero, a popular game on Sony Corp's PlayStation 2, and has also come out with a line of karaoke games. Viacom is aiming to focus more on digital media. With the Harmonix deal, Viacom will have spent at least $577 million on video game acquisitions this year.
September 8, 2006 | From Bloomberg News
Viacom Inc., the media company controlled by Sumner Redstone, said it would pay new Chief Executive Philippe P. Dauman $2 million a year plus a bonus of $7 million or more. Dauman, who replaced Tom Freston this week, also was granted stock options worth $12 million, New York-based Viacom said in a regulatory filing. The options will vest in six months.
September 6, 2006 | Claudia Eller, Times Staff Writer
For Paramount Pictures Chairman Brad Grey, the firing of his boss, Tom Freston, is the most unsettling development in his already turbulent 18-month run at the studio. Although Grey, 48, has received a vote of confidence from his new boss, Viacom Chief Executive Philippe P. Dauman, as well as from Chairman Sumner M. Redstone, he has nonetheless lost his strongest advocate at the company. And, as anyone in Hollywood knows, assurances from the corporate brass don't guarantee job security.
August 26, 2006 | From Bloomberg News
Viacom Inc., the media company controlled by Sumner Redstone, bought out investors in its BET Interactive unit, including Microsoft Corp., News Corp., Liberty Media Corp., IAC/InterActiveCorp and hip-hop producer Russell Simmons. The terms weren't disclosed. BET Interactive is part of the New York-based company's BET Networks, a media business catering to African Americans.
August 24, 2006 | Meg James and Sallie Hofmeister, Times Staff Writers
Viacom Inc. Chairman Sumner Redstone was strutting Wednesday, the day after his harsh public dismissal of superstar Tom Cruise sent shivers through Hollywood and destroyed the feel-good spirit that had imbued his company's Paramount Pictures studio this summer. For Redstone, a slight bump in Viacom's stock price Wednesday outweighed any hangover that his blunt remarks may have caused.
August 10, 2006 | Thomas S. Mulligan, Times Staff Writer
Viacom Inc. Chairman Sumner M. Redstone dashed cold water Wednesday on the much-rumored idea that the media conglomerate might address its lagging stock price by going private. "We like the company exactly as it is," Redstone said. "We think it's going to grow tremendously," he said, adding that he believed the stock market had undervalued Viacom shares.
June 30, 2006 | From Reuters
A group of Viacom Inc. investors won the right to sue the company's directors, claiming they overpaid Chairman Sumner Redstone and other executives even as the company suffered a record loss. New York State Supreme Court Judge Charles Ramos threw out Viacom's motion to dismiss the complaint alleging excessive compensation or unjust enrichment in 2004.
June 27, 2006 | Claudia Eller, Times Staff Writer
Paramount Pictures plans a sweeping reorganization that will bring in house its two sister movie operations, MTV Films and Nickelodeon Movies, as part of an effort to end what has frequently been viewed as a dysfunctional relationship. Although all three are owned by parent Viacom Inc.
May 12, 2006 | Richard Verrier, Times Staff Writer
Profit at Viacom Inc. slipped 9% in the first quarter as the media giant was squeezed by an increased debt load as well as higher film advertising and overhead costs at its Paramount Pictures unit, the company said Thursday. But its acquisition of DreamWorks SKG already is bearing fruit, executives said, with such films as Steven Spielberg's "Munich" and Woody Allen's "Match Point." Viacom paid $1.
March 23, 2006 | From the Associated Press
American media giant Viacom Inc. wants to meld Hollywood with Bollywood by producing movies in India, company President and Chief Executive Tom Freston said Wednesday. "We want to produce films here; we don't want to just distribute," said Freston, whose operating units include Paramount, DreamWorks, MTV and Nickelodeon. "We want to work with Indian producers."
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