Lots of coverage in the news about the Viacom situation. Remember that both Michael Eisner and Jeffrey Katzenberg came to Disney by way of Paramount, and there has been speculation that Katzenberg may yet play a major role in the Viacom situation, on top of the recent acquisition of Dreamworks. Like I said before, nothing happens in a vacuum in Hollywood, so this can have an impact at Disney.
Notice how much the fact that Viacom missed out on buying MySpace is mentioned. Fox’s parent company ended up getting it. The Los Angeles Times has several pieces on Viacom and CBS, including:
Redstone made clear Tuesday that he was unhappy that New York-based Viacom had failed to keep pace with its former corporate sibling, CBS Corp. Since he split Viacom and CBS into two publicly traded entities at the start of this year, the stock of the TV and radio network, which he also controls, has gained 9.2%, while Viacom’s has fallen 16%.
Viacom, which owns cable channels, had been billed by Redstone as the faster-growing stock.
When media mogul Sumner Redstone split his entertainment empire, Viacom Inc., into two publicly traded companies this year, observers sneered that CBS Corp. Chief Executive Leslie Moonves got the short end of the stick.
Moonves had wanted to be in charge of the venerable Paramount Pictures movie studio. Instead, his new portfolio contained the company’s less glamorous, slower-growth assets: the CBS network, a TV production arm, a troubled radio division, billboards, theme parks, cable channel Showtime and the Simon & Schuster publishing house.
The veteran deal makers answered Redstone’s call to help him revive the sagging fortunes of the Viacom media conglomerate he controls, with Dauman assuming the chief executive role from the ousted Tom Freston and Dooley named chief administrative officer, a new post.
For Redstone, enlisting Dauman, 52, and Dooley, 49, restores the triumvirate that led Viacom during its heyday in the 1990s, when the company put together a string of multibillion-dollar acquisitions that included movie maker Paramount Pictures Corp., video chain Blockbuster Inc. and CBS.
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.