October 19, 2006 |
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.
October 17, 2006 |
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.
September 26, 2006 |
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.
September 23, 2006 |
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 12, 2006 |
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.
September 8, 2006 |
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 |
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 |
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 |
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 |
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.