Throwing an orgy of pessimism? Well, don’t invite Viacom

February 12, 2009

How bad is the advertising market? Pretty bad, says Viacom Chief Executive Philippe Dauman. And it’s only going to get uglier.

See you at the job bank

January 30, 2009

We were talking the other day about job cuts — more specifically about who would be next to feel the axe blade. We’d seen big cuts at Viacom, Omnicom, Warner Brothers and Time Inc, and, you know, it obviously didn’t take a genius to figure more were coming.

How much are those front-page Times ads?

January 6, 2009

Don’t ask The New York Times how much its new front-page display ads cost. The paper won’t say. That didn’t stop the New York Post from asking ad buyers. Here’s the answer based on anonymous sources:

You guessed it: Viacom and Time Warner settle

January 2, 2009

Who was the big winner in the Time Warner Cable-Viacom dispute? A few newspapers, it seems, since they got a little extra holiday cash when Viacom decided to take out some advertisements and take their fight with the cable operator public.

Viacom, Time Warner Cable help get people out of the house

December 31, 2008

Viacom and Time Warner Cable are doing their best to make sure that television addicts around the country get a chance to go outside and stretch their legs come New Year’s Day. Of course, the reason they’re doing their part for physical fitness has little to do with ensuring the health of their viewers.******As Reuters reports, Viacom — the company run by financially challenged media mogul Sumner Redstone — provides programming to cable networks like Time Warner Cable for a fee. Now we’re at a time when Viacom and Time Warner Cable are renegotiating the fee, a regular occurrence. Equally regular are the disputes that arise as the negotiators try to determine what a fair price is.******The ultimate loser turns out to be you, the faithful TV watcher, because the last resort of companies like Viacom is to pull their programs off the air. The idea is that sends watchers into paroxysms of rage, usually directed at the cable company that they give all their money to every month. Eventually, the idea goes, the cable company cries Uncle! and agrees to pay more money to bring you the programming. Yes, your bill goes up too, as it always does.******Here’s a sample of what will stop being broadcast on Jan. 1: Dora the Explorer, SpongeBob SquarePants, The Colbert Report, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and The Hills.******And here’s a sample of the pre-packaged righteous indignation that you hear at times like this from the companies:***

Viacom: Time Warner Cable has dismissed our efforts at a fair compromise… As a result, we are sorry to say that for Time Warner Cable customers our networks will go dark as of 12:01 on January 1st.

Jobs cuts hit hard in media, communications

December 5, 2008

As the U.S. Labor Department reported a 6.7 percent unemployment rate for November and the largest number of job cuts since 1974, the media and telecom industries are definitely not immune.

Redstone’s last picture show

December 4, 2008

Media mogul Sumner Redstone appears to be sticking with his decision to not sell more shares in Viacom and CBS. Here’s the Financial Times:

It’s Midway or the highway for Redstone

December 1, 2008

Sumner Redstone is selling low — way low. Here’s The Wall Street Journal with the news:

Ouch! A bad day in the market for Redstone

November 12, 2008

This is shaping up as a bad day for Sumner Redstone — and he’s had a few of those lately — at least where his investments are concerned. Check out share prices of his three major holdings: CBS down 17 percent and Viacom down 11 percent. Midway Games takes first (or last) prize: down 34 percent.

Redstone + Viacom = True Love Always

November 4, 2008

A couple of things we know about Viacom in the aftermath of its earnings report: Sumner Redstone is madly in love with the media company, and he is still not selling any more shares.