Viacom Inc. (VIAB) - NASDAQ
  • Tue, May 17, 5:07 AM
    • Sumner Redstone has the power to remove Viacom (VIA, VIAB) CEO Philippe Dauman, but not his daughter Shari, from the trust that will control his $40B media empire after his incapacitation or death, sources told Reuters.
    • There is no evidence that 92-year old is considering replacing Dauman, but the fact that Shari Redstone has a more secure position on the seven-person trust, could embolden her in efforts to wield more influence at Viacom as it struggles with falling ratings.
    | Tue, May 17, 5:07 AM | 1 Comment
  • Mon, May 9, 7:59 PM
    • The high-profile mental competency case against Sumner Redstone was dismissed today, but thw two days of trial that did occur have prompted the board at Viacom (VIA, VIAB) to consider another pay cut for Redstone, now its chairman emeritus, the WSJ reports.
    • Redstone controls voting power at both Viacom and CBS through holding company National Amusements, but a year of questions swirling around his mental capacity raised succession questions and prompted both companies to change him out as executive chairman.
    • In January, an under-pressure Viacom cut compensation for Redstone by 85%, to $2M for 2015.
    • Then in early February, CBS named Les Moonves to replace Redstone as executive chairman, and Viacom took the same action the following day, putting Philippe Dauman in Redstone's place.
    • The board at Viacom is considering a further pay cut now that the trial has highlighted Redstone's struggles. A video deposition aired in court on Friday showed he struggles to communicate, failing to answer some basic biographical questions about himself and unsuccessfully attempting to spell out some responses.
    • Now read I Still Don't Believe In Viacom »
    | Mon, May 9, 7:59 PM | 2 Comments
  • Mon, May 9, 11:46 AM
    • A judge has dismissed the mental competency case against Sumner Redstone, the mogul with voting control of CBS (CBS -2.1%) and Viacom (VIA -1.9%, VIAB -1.8%).
    • Judge David Cowan had spent the weekend considering dismissing the case filed by Redstone's ex-girlfriend, Manuela Herzer, after viewing a videotaped deposition of the 92-year-old on Friday where he referred to her with profanity and said "I want Manuela out of my life."
    • Herzer had challenged her removal as Redstone's healthcare agent (and expulsion from his home and life), charging that he wasn't in his right mind. The case brought to light contentious succession discussions at the two companies and stirred long-simmering family conflicts.
    • Previously: Judge to consider dismissing Redstone case over weekend (May. 06 2016)
    • Now read It's Time To Fire Philippe Dauman »
    | Mon, May 9, 11:46 AM | 4 Comments
  • Fri, May 6, 7:19 PM
    • It's Day One of the trial over Sumner Redstone's healthcare agency, and while witnesses continue to be called this afternoon , the presiding judge says he will take the weekend to consider dismissing the case.
    • The judge commented after viewing a hotly contested deposition of Redstone himself. Redstone's attorneys moved again for dismissal after Dr. Stephen Read -- an expert medical witness for plaintiff and Redstone ex Manuela Herzer -- testified that after all that's happened, it would be difficult for her to serve in the role of his healthcare agent.
    • Read was the second witness after the deposition of the 92-year-old Redstone, a profanity-laden video that made clear he wants Herzer out of his life.
    • "Mr. Redstone’s testimony was strong," says Judge David Cowan. "How can I sit here and say after listening to that video, 'No, you can’t have what you want.'" He's asking both sides to file briefs by Saturday night so that he can rule Monday morning.
    • A dismissal of a trial where Redstone's mental competence is in question would remove much of the drama tied to the companies that Redstone controls, CBS and Viacom (VIA, VIAB).
    • Now read It's Time To Fire Philippe Dauman »
    | Fri, May 6, 7:19 PM | 3 Comments
  • Fri, May 6, 3:02 AM
    • The trial to determine the mental competency of ailing media mogul Sumner Redstone will open with a blockbuster lineup of witnesses today, beginning with a video testimony from the 92-year-old himself.
    • Manuela Herzer, a former companion and romantic partner of Redstone, initiated the court case in November by filing a petition that claimed Redstone was not competent when he removed her from his will and supervision of his healthcare.
    • While the courtroom drama concerns Redstone's personal life, it could have broad implications for Viacom (VIA, VIAB) and CBS, the two media companies he continues to control.
    | Fri, May 6, 3:02 AM | 2 Comments
  • Mon, May 2, 5:57 PM
    • In the latest turn of the Sumner Redstone competency trial drama, the 92-year old mogul won't take the stand but will face a deposition on video, in his home, limited to 15 minutes.
    • The video will be shown to the court, but won't be made public -- though the trial itself will be, Judge David Cowan ruled. One attorney for each side will be present.
    • But nobody else expected to testify, nor any family, will be allowed. Redstone's speech therapist will sit in to act as an interpreter if needed; Redstone's speech has been affected by his health.
    • The trial is set to begin Friday, and while Redstone's testimony is key to ex-girlfriend Manuela Herzer's case over his healthcare wishes, it (and any testimony by Viacom chief Philippe Dauman) may have repercussions for the futures of the companies Redstone controls, Viacom (VIA +2.6%, VIAB +2.6%) and CBS (CBS +1%).
    • Now read Viacom: Opportunity Hidden In A Soap Opera »
    | Mon, May 2, 5:57 PM | 1 Comment
  • Thu, Apr. 28, 1:08 PM
    • Viacom (VIA -1.5%, VIAB -1.9%) says it's culled a list of 40 bidders for a stake in Paramount Pictures down to a handful, with negotiations set to start late next month.
    • Chief Philippe Dauman gave the update on the company's conference call following its fiscal Q2 beat today. Shares are lower as domestic ad sales proved a disappointment, dropping for the seventh straight quarter.
    • "There is strong interest from all around the world," Dauman says of the minority interest in the venerable studio that Viacom is shopping. Chinese suitors are still a favorite for many reasons, including the chance for Viacom to get a stronger presence in a burgeoning cinema market.
    • Meanwhile, other suitors are falling by the wayside as they would have preferred majority control of the studio.
    • Also today, Viacom announced a partnership with Roku to deliver targeted advertising using aggregated audience insights. "This is the first time dynamic, 1:1 advertising will be possible as part of a larger linear TV buy," says Viacom's Kern Schireson.
    • And it introduced Vantage Studio Edition, a version of its data-driven offering targeted exclusively to movie studios. It's set to combine title-level film ticket purchase data with household viewing behavior.
    • Now read Viacom: Opportunity Hidden In A Soap Opera »
    | Thu, Apr. 28, 1:08 PM
  • Thu, Apr. 28, 11:50 AM
    • Viacom has recovered from early losses but is still trading down (VIA -1.7%, VIAB -2%) after its fiscal Q2 beat expectations but showed continuing declines in ad sales.
    • Expense cuts helped adjusted net profits beat expectations at $303M, which still declined 35% Y/Y. Revenues dropped 2.6%, but just 2% ex-forex, and currency effects were pronounced in advertising (international ad revenues fell 1% including a 7% negative impact from forex).
    • Revenue by segment: Media Networks, $2.38B (down 3%); Filmed Entertainment, $655M (down 1%).
    • Domestic ad sales fell 5% despite price hikes, amid continuing ratings softness. Domestic affiliate revenues dropped 2% as subscribers declined modestly and rates were cut across part of the base.
    • In Filmed Entertainment, declines in home entertainment and ancillary revenues more than offset gains in license fees and theatrical revenues.
    • Media Networks showed an operating gain of $805M (down 11%), but Filmed Entertainment swung to a $136M operating loss.
    • Press Release
    | Thu, Apr. 28, 11:50 AM
  • Thu, Apr. 28, 7:00 AM
    • Viacom (NASDAQ:VIAB): FQ2 EPS of $0.76 beats by $0.02.
    • Revenue of $3B (-2.6% Y/Y) beats by $20M.
    • Press Release
    | Thu, Apr. 28, 7:00 AM
  • Wed, Apr. 27, 6:40 PM
    • A judge has (tentatively) ruled that the trial over Sumner Redstone's healthcare directives should be open to the public.
    • That's important not only because of what it might reveal about Redstone's condition and competence, but also what it could reveal about internals at the companies he controls: CBS and Viacom (VIA, VIAB).
    • Viacom CEO/Chairman Philippe Dauman replaced Redstone's ex-girlfriend Manuela Herzer as Redstone's healthcare agent, prompting the suit (along with the fact that Redstone revoked a part of his estate plan that would have her receive a $70M inheritance). Dauman was later replaced in that role by Redstone's daughter Shari.
    • The trial is scheduled for May 6, though the prospect of a public trial could put pressure on for a settlement.
    • Now read Viacom: Opportunity Hidden In A Soap Opera »
    | Wed, Apr. 27, 6:40 PM | 1 Comment
  • Wed, Apr. 27, 5:30 PM
  • Mon, Apr. 25, 6:13 PM
    • China's DMG Entertainment is getting out in front of a bidding deadline for a minority stake in Paramount Pictures (VIA -1%, VIAB -1.2%), hiring J.P. Morgan to engage on its due diligence, Variety reports.
    • The disconnect between Viacom (which wants to sell a smaller piece) and bidders who want the studio outright is also discouraging some suitors; Skydance and Twenty-First Century Fox (FOX +0.6%, FOXA +0.4%) are not expected to bid actively, Brent Lang notes.
    • Chinese firms continue to be prominent among likely partners for Paramount, as they'd give it more of a foothold in the world's fastest growing cinema market. DMG is worth about $5B and recently partnered with Hasbro to create a live show based around the toymaker's Transformers robots.
    • Now read Viacom: Opportunity Hidden In A Soap Opera »
    | Mon, Apr. 25, 6:13 PM | 1 Comment
  • Thu, Apr. 21, 3:03 PM
    • Paramount Picture (VIA +11.1%, VIAB +12.1%) and Hasbro (HAS +0.2%) have pulled together a group of experienced screenwriters to firm up plans for toy/film collaborations that build on previous successes, notably including robot-toy juggernaut Transformers.
    • The "cross-property interconnected screen universe" covers a number of brands, also including G.I. Joe, Micronauts, Visionaries, M.A.S.K. and ROM -- and looks to be capitalizing on a "cinematic universe" strategy to ape success like Marvel/Disney's.
    • Films will be produced by Allspark Pictures, Hasbro's film label, and distributed by Paramount. Oscar winner Akiva Goldsman will executive produce all films and oversee a writers room that also features novelist Michael Chabon; Under the Dome showrunner Brian Vaughan; Marvel writer Nicole Perlman; and several others.
    • The G.I. Joe franchise has earned more than $675M worldwide. The Transformers franchise directed by Michael Bay has earned $3.8B so far; Bay has directed four films and the next three are set for each of the next three years.
    • Now read Is Hasbro Worth Investing At A 52-Week High? (Video) »
    | Thu, Apr. 21, 3:03 PM | 1 Comment
  • Thu, Apr. 21, 11:08 AM
    • A matter of hours after a midnight expiration of their former contract, Dish Network (DISH +0.7%) and Viacom have announced a multi-year renewal.
    • Viacom shares are shooting up: VIA +6.7%, VIAB +8%.
    • That keeps 18 of Viacom's channels flowing to Dish customres, including Nickelodeon, MTV, Comedy Central and BET. The channels didn't black out as the companies kept talking past the midnight deadline.
    • Some Viacom live and on-demand content is going to join the Sling TV streaming services as part of the deal. Specific packaging wasn't announced, though.
    • Now read DISH Network - No Value In Spectrum Anymore? »
    | Thu, Apr. 21, 11:08 AM | 5 Comments
  • Thu, Apr. 21, 3:29 AM
    | Thu, Apr. 21, 3:29 AM
  • Wed, Apr. 20, 6:39 PM
    • After shedding more than 7% of value yesterday, shares in Viacom (VIA +3.2%, VIAB +4.9%) rebounded today even as Dish Network (DISH +0.2%) CEO Charlie Ergen said retransmission contract talks have turned positive ahead of tonight's midnight deadline.
    • Concerns about the deal -- which would renew Viacom's 18 channels including key networks (Nickelodeon, MTV, Comedy Central, BET) on Dish satellite feeds -- have been plaguing Viacom for months, since it's disproportionately dependent on Dish carriage.
    • Yesterday, Viacom tanked as it said Dish hadn't engaged in "a serious way." It responded to Ergen: "As a long-standing partner, we are hopeful that we can work together to reach a deal."
    • Investor Mario Gabelli (whose voting stake in Viacom is second only to the Redstone family) said today he expected a 10-day blackout. In today's Dish earnings call, Ergen said "It's no coincidence that our conference call is today because, to the extent that we obviously don't reach agreement, we're prepared to move on as Suddenlink and others have done, without the content."
    • Now read DISH Network - No Value In Spectrum Anymore? »
    | Wed, Apr. 20, 6:39 PM | 1 Comment
Company Description
Viacom, Inc. is a global entertainment content company, which connects with audiences through compelling television programs, motion pictures, short-form video, applications, games, brands for consumer products, social media and other entertainment content. The company operates business through... More
Sector: Services
Industry: Entertainment - Diversified
Country: United States