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Viacom Inc

BUSINESS
February 7, 2007 | From Reuters
Viacom Inc. said it might sell its music publishing business, which includes music from contemporary hit artists Eminem and Shakira. Viacom, which owns movie studio Paramount Pictures and cable channel MTV Networks, has hired UBS Investment Bank to explore strategic alternatives to boost the value of the division, Famous Music. Famous Music was founded in 1928 by Paramount's predecessor, Famous-Lasky Corp., to publish music that accompanied its movies.
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BUSINESS
February 3, 2007 | Dawn C. Chmielewski, Times Staff Writer
Viacom Inc.'s demand Friday that YouTube remove more than 100,000 clips from the popular online video site is more than brinksmanship at the bargaining table. It's a battle of the brands. The entertainment conglomerate's insistence that YouTube remove such coveted content as highlights from "The Daily Show With Jon Stewart" and "The Colbert Report" signals that it believes these brands have enough cachet to attract an online audience, with or without YouTube.
BUSINESS
January 12, 2007 | From Reuters
A high-profile executive at MTV Networks is leaving the company as part of upheaval among Viacom Inc.'s executive ranks, a Viacom spokesman said Thursday. Michael Wolf, a former McKinsey & Co. managing partner and a well-known media strategist, will step down as MTV Networks' president after spending a little more than a year at the company. Nicole Browning, president of affiliate sales and marketing at MTV Networks and a 20-year veteran, also is leaving the company, Viacom said.
BUSINESS
December 9, 2006 | From Bloomberg News
Viacom Inc., the media company controlled by Sumner Redstone, said it would pay outgoing Chief Financial Officer Michael Dolan $9.8 million in salary, bonus and deferred compensation. Dolan, who resigned Nov. 9, also will receive vesting of 257,780 stock options and 5,213 restricted shares when he leaves the company Dec. 31, New York-based Viacom said in a regulatory filing. * * Yahoo Inc.
BUSINESS
December 8, 2006 | From Bloomberg News
Viacom Inc. formed a new division to manage male-oriented channels such as Comedy Central and Spike TV to increase advertising sales. Doug Herzog, who was the top executive at Comedy Central, Spike TV and TV Land, will lead MTVN Entertainment Group, Viacom's MTV Networks said in a statement.
BUSINESS
October 19, 2006 | From Times staff and wire services
Ousted Viacom Inc. Chief Executive Tom Freston will be paid as much as $84.8 million in severance and other compensation over three years, regulatory filings show. Freston's previously reported severance of $60 million will be supplemented with $5.7 million in payments from a retirement fund, $7.4 million in deferred compensation and 90,141 shares of restricted stock with his departure. He also can earn a maximum of $3 million over three years for serving as an advisor to Viacom until 2009.
BUSINESS
October 17, 2006 | From Bloomberg News
Viacom Inc.'s MTV Networks unit bought Quizilla.com, a website where teenagers share original works, to add to its Kids and Family Group. Quizilla, sold for undisclosed terms by Los Angeles-based Gorilla Nation Media, had 3.1 million visitors in September, New York-based Viacom said, citing ComScore Media Metrix data. Viacom plans to add Quizilla to other MTV sites for youngsters, the company said.
BUSINESS
September 26, 2006 | Charles Duhigg, Times Staff Writer
Viacom Inc. Chairman Sumner Redstone might be a little poorer -- but just a little. The corporate parent of MTV, Comedy Central and Paramount Pictures announced Monday that Redstone's 2007 salary and bonus would not exceed $4.5 million, down from as much as $9.1 million. The pay cut is designed to make Redstone's compensation similar to packages awarded to Philippe Dauman and Thomas Dooley, two longtime Redstone confidants who replaced recently fired Chief Executive Tom Freston.
BUSINESS
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.
BUSINESS
September 12, 2006 | Charles Duhigg, Times Staff Writer
Undeterred by a lack of consumer interest in using cellphones to access entertainment, Universal Music Group is expected Tuesday to announce a deal giving MTV Networks a blanket license to its songs, videos and other content for mobile devices. The deal is the latest example of the entertainment industry's appetite for using cellular phones to deliver content. EMI Music and T-Mobile struck a deal Monday to offer ad-supported mobile video in Britain.
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