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BUSINESS
March 14, 2007 | Thomas S. Mulligan and Claudia Eller, Times Staff Writers
Sumner Redstone, Viacom Inc.'s 83-year-old chairman, got the call Monday at the Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica telling him that the company he controls was declaring war on Internet giant Google Inc. after months of failed talks. Vacationing with his wife Paula, Redstone was informed by Chief Executive Philippe Dauman that the media company would be suing Google the following day for more than $1 billion.
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BUSINESS
March 2, 2007 | From the Associated Press
MTV owner Viacom Inc.'s profit more than tripled in the fourth quarter after the addition of the DreamWorks studio last year, which swung its movie business to a profit. Viacom, which also owns BET, VH1 and several other cable television channels, said it earned $480.8 million, or 69 cents a share, compared with $129.5 million, or 17 cents, a year earlier. On a comparable basis, Viacom's operating income increased 28% to $855.6 million, or 65 cents a share.
BUSINESS
February 22, 2007 | From Bloomberg News
Viacom Inc., the media company controlled by Sumner Redstone, named Blythe J. McGarvie as an independent member of its board. McGarvie, president and founder of consulting firm LIF Group, will also serve on the audit committee. The appointment is effective April 12. Ellen Futter will leave the board on that date, New York-based Viacom said.
BUSINESS
February 21, 2007 | From Bloomberg News
Viacom Inc., owner of MTV Networks and Paramount Pictures, said Tuesday that it planned to deliver free films and television shows through Joost, a rival to YouTube run by pioneers of Internet calling and music sharing. The companies didn't disclose the terms of the agreement, which is multiyear, said Jeremy Zweig, a spokesman for New York-based Viacom. Joost's website is expected to begin operations sometime next month.
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.
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.
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