Wednesday, January 04, 2006

CBS and Viacom Once More Separate Publically Traded Entities

In 1999, the merger of CBS and Viacom was the largest media merger in history. At the time, it combined CBS (aka the old folks network) with Viacom's long list of youth oriented cable networks. The deal was described by CNN as move to get the "network of Dan Rather in touch with the MTV generation."

In December 2005, Paramount Pictures (a unit of Viacom Inc.) purchased Dreamworks SKG, increasing the catalogue of the media giant. Also in December of 2005 MTV announced , in what can only be called a flexing of synergistic media giant muscles, that it would be venturing into the digital download musical arena. But it appears that the recent activity partially helps to shore up Viacom after it decided to separate its businesses into two publically traded entities.

January 1, 2006 marked the first day that CBS and Viacom will become CBS Corporation and New Viacom Inc. While CBS will hold many of the former television properties of Viacom, it appears that MTV Networks will move on to the "New" Viacom.

I guess Dan Rather and the MTV generation didn't get along too well after all. Or maybe they did. After all, CBS brought in the New Year with a Dan Rather interview of Bill Clinton the sax playing star seen on MTV in 1992. Maybe CNN forgot that the MTV generation was voting in 1992 when they wrote their story in 1999.

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