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Viacom CEO: MTV and BET not like Imus

May 14, 2007

Viacom CEO Philippe DaumanIn the wake of shock jock Don Imus’ forced firing over racially and sexually charged comment, Viacom’s cable music networks — MTV, VH1 and especially BET — have been targets of scrutiny.******At the Reuters Global Technology, Media and Telecoms Summit in New York, Viacom chief executive Philippe Dauman responded to those critics by saying that while shows on Viacom’s networks are “not perfect”, he stands behind their shows, which he says are tailored to consumers desire.******“We are very proud of the programming we have on our networks. We are not perfect. To the extent that issues and culture develop over time, we certainly follow where consumers want to be.”******Critics have long charged that BET and MTV air sexually and racially charged — and often offensive — programs. Dauman counters by saying that he is “particularly proud of the direction that BET is going,” launching many new original programs, several family-oriented.******But he adds that some of the worst video that some have claimed were seen in BET never aired on the network.***

“A lot of the discussion in this area is uninformed.”

**** In the wake of merger and acquisition chatter in the media world, he doesn’t see any “large transactions” by Viacom, and said the company does not need to make any of the splashy acquisitions that some (unnamed) companies feel a “desperation” toward.**** MTV will remain “a core brand” for a long time to come, as it stretches across multiple platforms, including the Internet, and mobile devices.******(click here to listen to an audio file of Dauman’s comments)

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