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ENTERTAINMENT
November 14, 2013 | By Meg James
Media company Viacom Inc.'s profit soared 24% in its fiscal fourth quarter, fueled by significantly higher TV ad sales and the Brad Pitt movie "World War Z. " Viacom shattered analysts' estimates for the quarter. Television advertising sales jumped 10% to $1.3 billion, thanks to higher ratings for the company's flagship networks Nickelodeon, MTV and Comedy Central. For the quarter ended Sept. 30, Viacom reported net income of $804 million, or $1.68 per share, up from $650 million, or $1.26 per share, in the year-earlier period.  Analysts had been expecting earnings of $1.44 a share.
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ENTERTAINMENT
October 20, 2013 | By Joe Flint
Indian media giant Zee Group has tapped former Viacom executive Eric Sherman as chief executive of Veria Living, its U.S. media unit that focuses on health and wellness content. Sherman, whose résumé also includes a stint as manager of Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler, most recently was executive vice president of business development for XIX Entertainment, "American Idol" creator Simon Fuller's production company.  Zee Group is part of Indian mogul Subhash Chandra's Essel Group.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 20, 2013 | By Ryan Faughnder
Lionsgate's chief financial officer, James Keegan, a 25-year veteran of the company, is retiring and will be succeeded by James Barge, the former CFO of Viacom. Keegan, 55, will retire on Oct. 1 and will stay on as a consultant until Jan. 3 to help with the transition, the company said Friday.  Barge, who will report to Lionsgate Chief Executive Jon Feltheimer, had already been working with Lionsgate as a consultant. He served as Viacom's CFO from 2010 to 2012 and earlier worked at Time Warner Inc. for 13 years.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 18, 2013 | By Joe Flint
Veteran television executive Albie Hecht has been tapped to be the new executive vice president and general manager of the cable channel HLN. Part of the CNN empire, HLN has gone over a few makeovers over the last couple of years. Formerly known as Headline News, the channel, with its focus on crime, trials, and pop culture, is something of a hybrid of CNN and E! Its most well-known personalities are lawyer Nancy Grace and Dr. Drew Pinsky. Hecht's background is primarily in entertainment including long stints at Viacom's Nickelodeon and Spike TV. His hiring will likely be seen as a further sign that HLN will continue to distance itself from its hard-news roots.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 16, 2013 | By Joe Flint
After the coffee. Before seeing if I can get instant replay for my life. The Skinny: As if you couldn't tell, I'm a little bit old school. That means I'm not exactly thrilled that baseball is now going to fully embrace instant replay. Human error and mistakes are part of life. Plus baseball is already too long. Friday's headlines include the distribution deal in the works between Viacom and Sony and the weekend box office preview. Daily Dose: It is now two weeks since CBS-owned TV stations went dark on Time Warner Cable systems.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 15, 2013 | By Joe Flint
Viacom Inc., parent of MTV, Nickelodeon and Comedy Central, is closing in on a deal with Sony Corp. to have its networks carried via an Internet distribution system the consumer electronics and entertainment company is developing that would potentially be a rival cable and satellite services, a person familiar with matter confirmed. Should an agreement be struck, Viacom would be the first major entertainment company to agree to sell its content to a so-called over-the-top distribution system.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 29, 2013 | By Ryan Faughnder
Viacom Inc. Chief Executive Officer Philippe Dauman mocked Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) for being the sole sponsor of a new bill to overhaul the way pay-TV distributors and programmers package and sell programming. At Nomura's Global Media & Telecom Summit in New York, Dauman downplayed the threat, saying McCain has been pushing for similar legislation for years and has made little progress.  “McCain got a lot of publicity for his solo-sponsored bill, which he's been doing for, I don't know, 15 years now with no co-sponsors, going nowhere,” he said.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 27, 2013 | By Meg James
Viacom Chairman Sumner Redstone celebrated his 90th birthday Monday. Friends, family and business associates had planned a surprise Memorial Day birthday party in Los Angeles for the media mogul, even though Redstone has never been a big fan of birthdays -- or surprises. Not to worry. Redstone has plenty of reasons to celebrate this year. Just last week, Viacom stock hit an all time high. Redstone also received an early birthday present from Viacom's board, of which he serves as chairman.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 17, 2013 | By Meg James
Today marks the one-year anniversary of Facebook's initial public offering, a milestone that often prompts reflection and introspection. And in the case of Rupert Murdoch, the occasion provided an opportunity for a nanny-nanny-nah-nah tweet: "Look out Facebook! Hours spent participating per member dropping seriously. First really bad sign as seen by crappy MySpace years ago," Murdoch wrote on his Twitter account late Thursday night. VIDEO: Fall 2013 TV trailers Of course, Murdoch was famously burned after jumping in and snatching Myspace for $580 million in 2005, thwarting competing media company Viacom, which was mounting a bid. Viacom's failure to land Myspace led to the firing of CEO Tom Freston and generated much celebration in the halls of Murdoch's News Corp.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 15, 2013 | By Joe Flint
After the coffee. Before the CBS and TNT upfronts. Jealous yet? The Skinny: It feels like I've been here a week. Oh wait, I have been here a week! By the time most of you read this, I'll have already been to two upfront events and in desperate need of a nap. Well, that's a luxury problem. Wednesday's headlines include ABC's brand new schedule and Viacom getting a jump on the upfront market. As always, if you are interested in receiving an email alert when the Morning Fix is live, please send me a note . Daily Dose: Advertisers may have been surprised to learn at the ABC upfront that the network is No. 1 in late night.
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