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ENTERTAINMENT
January 25, 2013 | By Ben Fritz
Smaller bonuses led to compensation decreases in fiscal 2012 for the top executives at Viacom Inc., who traditionally have been among the nation's most richly paid. Chief Executive Philippe Dauman took home $33.5 million in the year that ended Sept. 30, down 22% from the previous year. His No. 2, Chief Operating Officer Tom Dooley, saw a 23% drop to $26.3 million. Compensation for Chairman Sumner Redstone, who holds the same title at CBS Corp., dropped 3% to $20.4 million. Every executive at the corporate parent of MTV Networks and Paramount Pictures saw a sharp drop in bonus payments in fiscal 2012.
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ENTERTAINMENT
November 15, 2012 | By Meg James
Katy Perry wasn't enough to boost revenue for media company Viacom Inc. The New York-based cable television giant Thursday reported 13% higher fiscal fourth-quarter earnings but revenue plummeted 17% because the company, through its Hollywood-based movie studio Paramount Pictures, released only one film during the period: "Katy Perry: Part of Me. " For the quarter ended Sept. 30, Viacom posted net income of $650 million, or $1.26 per share, compared to $576 million, or $1 per share, in the year-earlier period.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 15, 2012 | By Meg James
Wall Street analysts are nervous about Viacom Inc.'s short-term growth amid a ratings slump at the company's key television networks. Ratings are down about 30% this season at MTV, the company's signature cable channel. The youth-skewing network also is losing its juggernaut franchise "Jersey Shore," which could make matters worse.  And for the last year, Viacom's other major cash cow, Nickelodeon, has been struggling to stop the flight of young viewers. TV networks provide about 90% of the Viacom's profits.  On Thursday, Wells Fargo media analyst Marci Ryvicker was blunt during a conference call with analysts to discuss the company's fiscal fourth quarter.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 9, 2012 | By Joe Flint
Viacom 's Nickelodeon has struck a deal to sell its programming to Hulu Plus, the subscription arm of the online video platform Hulu. Starting today, recent episodes of Nickelodeon shows such as "iCarly" and "SpongeBob SquarePants" and its much-anticipated new version of "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" will be available to Hulu Plus subscribers. The episodes will be available three weeks after airing on Nickelodeon. The move has some analysts shaking their heads, who point to Nickelodeon's willingness to sell its programming to Netflix as playing a part in the cable network's ratings decline during the past year.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 26, 2012 | Meg James, Los Angeles Times
The turtles are being unleashed in the nick of time. On Saturday morning, Nickelodeon will take the lid off a slicker, hipper version of "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. " The armed reptiles, a hugely popular cartoon franchise in the '80s and '90s, are the latest effort by the children's network to combat a dramatic ratings plunge. Over the past year, Nickelodeon has lost 28% of its young audience, according to ratings firm Nielsen. The network's signature programming, "SpongeBob SquarePants" and tween sensation "iCarly," have lost cache with kids who are turning to other channels and other entertainment such as video games.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 27, 2012 | By Joe Flint
After the coffee. Before figuring out where the summer went. The Skinny: I saw "Premium Rush,"the Joseph Gordon-Levittbike messenger movie and was pleasantly surprised. I also saw "Bachelorette" and was very disappointed. Win some, lose some. Monday's headlines include the recap of the weekend box office, the latest in the legal battle between the broadcasters and Dish Network and how Viacom is fighting low ratings by adding more commercials. Daily Dose: Politico, the Capitol Hill-obsessed news outfit, is hoping steal some Web traffic and maybe even some TV ratings from the big boys during the upcoming political conventions.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 21, 2012 | By Meg James
A shareholder has sued Viacom Inc., Executive Chairman Sumner Redstone and other company directors, contending the New York media company overpaid Redstone and his top two lieutenants by more than $36 million over four years. Robert Freedman, a Viacom shareholder since 2005, contends the formula used to calculate bonuses for Viacom's top executives was based on broad terms that are difficult to quantify, including "vision and leadership" and "continuing to navigate economic challenges.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 13, 2012 | By Alex Pham
Viacom has been ordered to pay the piper. The media conglomerate that owns Paramount Pictures has lost its appeal of an arbitration order to pay $299 million to the original shareholders of Harmonix, a game development studio that Viacom agreed to buy in 2006 for $175 million, plus performance-based bonus payments. The setback is just the latest in a series for Viacom, whose ambitious foray into music video games has resulted in massive losses and acrimonious litigation. The ruling, from a Delaware Court of Chancery judge, was first reported Monday by The Hollywood Reporter . The lawsuit stemmed from Viacom's refusal to pay Harmonix bonus payments based on the performance of the "Rock Band" game franchise, which sold more than 10 million units but, nevertheless, lost money because of the high cost of creating the instruments needed to play the games.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 3, 2012 | By Ben Fritz
With only three new movies in theaters during the second quarter -- one a 3-D re-release and another released on behalf of a separate company -- Paramount Pictures revenue plunged 29% to $1 billion. Thanks to sharply lower expenses, however, the studio's operating income dropped only 6% to $29 million, according to financial results released by parent company Viacom Inc. on Friday. Among Paramount's releases in the three-month period ended June 30, "Titanic 3-D" was a huge hit, grossing $343.6 million worldwide, which was split between the L.A. studio and partner 20th Century Fox. "Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted" has taken in a strong $501 million so far, though Paramount keeps just 8% of revenue from the DreamWorks Animation release.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 3, 2012 | By Meg James
Viacom Inc.'s profit fell short of Wall Street's expectations as the company continued to struggle with ratings declines at Nickelodeon and other cable networks while worldwide theatrical revenue took a nose dive. For the April-June period, the New York-based media company controlled by mogul Sumner Redstone generated net income of $534 million, or $1.01 a share, compared with $574 million, or 99 cents, for the year-earlier period.  Fiscal third-quarter revenue came in at $3.24 billion, a 14% decline from $3.77 billion in the prior year period.
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