Learn more about Viacom
- This page is about the post-2005 Viacom. For the company known as Viacom prior to 2006 (and now known as CBS Corporation), see Viacom (1971-2005).
| Viacom Inc.
<tr><td colspan="2" style="text-align:center; padding:16px 0 16px 0;">Image:Viacom logo 2006.png</td></tr>
|Type|| Public (NYSE: VIAB)|
National Amusements owns a controlling amount of voting shares
|Founded||2006<ref>Although Viacom was originally founded in 1971 (split from the original CBS Corporation), it was reincorporated in 1986, and the current Viacom was spun off (re-founded) from CBS Corporation (which is, formally, the 1986 Viacom renamed) on January 1 2006.</ref>|
|Headquarters|| New York, New York, USA
<tr><th style="text-align:right; padding-right:0.75em;">Key people</th><td>Sumner Redstone, Executive Chairman & Founder
Viacom (NYSE: VIA) (NYSE: VIAb) is an American media conglomerate with various worldwide interests in cable and satellite television networks (MTV Networks and BET), and movie production and distribution (the Paramount Pictures movie studio and DreamWorks). Philippe Dauman is the President and Chief Executive Officer (his appointment was announced on Tuesday, September 6, 2006 — after Tom Freston's surprise resignation); Sumner Redstone is the Chairman and, through National Amusements, majority shareholder of Viacom. The new Viacom is considered to be the "high-growth" side of the much larger former Viacom.
The former Viacom was renamed CBS Corporation, from which this firm was split off on December 31, 2005. CBS, not Viacom, retains control of the over-the-air broadcasting, TV production, and publishing assets formerly owned by the larger company. However, National Amusements remains the common majority shareholder of both firms.
In March 2005, the prior Viacom (now known as CBS Corporation) announced plans of looking into splitting the company into two publicly traded companies. The company was not only dealing with a stagnating stock price, but also the rivalry between Leslie Moonves and Tom Freston, longtime heads of CBS and MTV Networks respectively. After the departure of Mel Karmazin in 2004, Redstone, who served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, decided to split the offices of President and Chief Operating Officer between Moonves and Freston. Redstone was set to retire in the near future, and a split would be a creative solution to the matter of replacing him.
The split was approved by Viacom's board June 14, 2005, approved December 31, 2005, and effectively undid the Viacom/CBS merger of 1999. The original Viacom changed its name to CBS Corporation and is headed by Moonves. It now includes Viacom's "slow growth businesses", namely CBS, The CW (which was formerly UPN), CBS Radio, Simon & Schuster, CBS Outdoor, Showtime, CBS Paramount Television and most television production assets. These, according to some analysts, were suffocating the growth of the MTV Networks cable businesses. (The split was structured such that CBS Corporation is actually the company previously known as Viacom.) At the time of the split, CBS Corporation was also given control of Paramount Parks. CBS sold Paramount Parks to amusement parks management company Cedar Fair, L.P. on June 30, 2006.
A new company, the present Viacom, was also spun-off and is headed by Freston. It is comprised of MTV Networks, BET Networks, Paramount's movie studio, and Paramount Pictures' home entertainment operations. These businesses are categorized as the high-growth businesses (MTV Networks and BET Networks in particular), and if they were split into a separate company, it could infuse new capital to allow for future acquisitions and expansion. Sumner Redstone still controls 71 percent of the voting stock of both companies and is the chairman of both companies.
In June 2005, Viacom announced its purchase of Neopets, a virtual pet website. That December, Paramount announced it would acquire DreamWorks. All indications are that the whole of DreamWorks - both film and TV studios, albeit not the DreamWorks archive - which was sold to a group led by George Soros in March 2006 - (nor the animated unit, which was not part of the deal) will remain owned by Viacom, even though CBS acquired Paramount's own TV studio. On February 1, 2006, Paramount completed its long-awaited acquisition of DreamWorks. As of April 24, 2006, Viacom has obtained Xfire. In September 2006, Viacom acquired game developer Harmonix for $175 million dollars.
As with the old Viacom, the current company owns a subsidiary, Viacom International Inc., which is the formal owner of copyrights associated with Viacom's corporate website and its cable networks.
In August 2006, just hours before announcing its most recent quarterly earnings, Viacom announced that it had acquired Atom Entertainment for $200 million. This deal came after a barrage of online acquisitions, including NeoPets, iFilm and Xfire.
 Corporate governance
The previous board of directors of Viacom were George Abrams, Vincent Erazo, David Andelman, Joseph Califano, Jr., William Cohen, Philippe Dauman, Alan Greenberg, Charles Phillips, Shari Redstone, Sumner Redstone, Frederic Salerno, William Schwartz, and Robert D. Walter.
Following the Viacom/CBS split, the Viacom board consisted of George Abrams, Philippe Dauman, Thomas E. Dooley, Tom Freston, Ellen V. Futter, Robert Kraft, Alan Greenberg, Charles Phillips, Sumner Redstone (Chairman), Shari Redstone (non-executive Vice-Chair), Frederic Salerno, and William Schwartz.
This is a summary of the main Viacom divisions. For detailed assets see List of assets owned by Viacom.
- Film Production and Distribution: Paramount Pictures, DreamWorks, Republic Pictures, MTV Films, Nickelodeon Movies, Go Fish Pictures
- Television Networks: MTV Networks (including MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, VH1, CMT, Spike TV and others); BET,
- Television Production and Television Distribution: DreamWorks Television
- Video Gaming: Xfire, Harmonix
 See also
 External links
- Viacom website
- Ketupa.net - Viacom
- Viacom information by Hoover's
- Viacom profile by Yahoo!
- Split documentation - SEC filing on Form S-4 from October 5, 2005 describing the split.