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Viacom Has a Controversial New Chairman

Sumner Redstone takes another step back from media empire

(Newser) - Aging media mogul Sumner Redstone stepped down as executive chairman of Viacom on Thursday and was replaced by CEO Philippe Dauman, a move that immediately disappointed investors. Although the decision mimicked a similar move at sister company CBS , Thursday's action has the potential to set off a future board... More »

TV Land Shelves Dukes of Hazzard

The General Lee's Confederate flag may be too controversial

(Newser) - The controversy over the Confederate flag appears to have caught up with the Dukes of Hazzard. TV Land has stopped airing reruns of the show without explanation, reports Entertainment Weekly . The reason, however, seems clear enough: the Confederate flag atop the dukes' beloved Dodge Charger, the General Lee. Before the... More »

Sony, Viacom Cut Deal to Stream Cable TV Online

Comedy Central may be coming to your PlayStation

(Newser) - PlayStation users, rejoice: You may soon be watching MTV and The Daily Show via a new Internet stream. That's because Sony cut a surprise deal with Viacom to stream its cable channels over Internet-based pay TV by the end of the year, the Wall Street Journal reports—and those... More »

Amazon Scores Big Win Over Netflix

Viacom brings content to online retailer

(Newser) - Last month, with the two companies at odds over renewal terms, Viacom's licensing deal with Netflix ended. Now, Viacom is bringing its shows, from the likes of Nickelodeon, MTV, and Comedy Central, over to Amazon in a multiyear streaming deal , the Wall Street Journal reports. (You can see them... More »

Amazon Instant Video Nabs Big Blockbusters

Because Netflix let its exclusive deal with Epix expire

(Newser) - Amazon's Prime Instant Video streaming service is getting a shot in the arm, with a slate of blockbusters that include The Avengers, Hunger Games, Super 8, and more, in a deal that signals trouble for Netflix. The movies are all coming thanks to a new deal with Epix, a... More »

Phew! Stewart, SpongeBob Return to DirecTV

Viacom settles dispute with provider

(Newser) - DirectTV subscribers who want their MTV, SpongeBob SquarePants, or comedian Jon Stewart are getting their wish. Viacom and the satellite TV service provider said today that they have settled a dispute that had cut off access to 17 Viacom channels for DirectTV subscribers. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.... More »

SpongeBob Ratings Sinking Fast

Which is bad news for Nickelodeon, Viacom

(Newser) - SpongeBob Squarepants is 13 years old—and it may finally have dried out. The show's ratings plummeted 29% in the first quarter among kids ages 2 to 11, compared to the year before. That's bad news for Nickelodeon as a whole: The show made up 31% of Nick'... More »

YouTube to Rent Paramount Movies

About 500 titles include 'Transformers' and 'The Godfather '

(Newser) - In a new deal, YouTube will be renting flicks produced by Paramount Pictures. Paramount will make available 500 movies, including Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Transformers, and The Godfather trilogy, reports Bloomberg Business Week . The titles will be online in a few weeks and cost $2.99 to $3.99... More »

CEO Salaries Climb Above Pre-Recession Levels

Average S&P company doling out $9M

(Newser) - Did you know there was some kind of recession recently? You wouldn't, if you looked at CEO paychecks. CEOs were paid more last year than they were in 2007, when unemployment was at half what it is now and the stock market was at record highs, the AP reports.... More »

Media Moguls: Obama's Scaring Big Business

Sun Valley conference a pessimistic affair

(Newser) - The Sun Valley summit of media titans last week was a dour affair, with the CEOs lamenting the poor state of the economy—and how little faith they have in the Obama administration to fix it. In on- and off-the-record conversations with the moguls, Peter Lauria of the Daily Beast... More »

South Park Bully Group Denies Link to NYC Bomb

But follower was at Times Square

(Newser) - An Islamist group that threatened South Park creators with harm for making light of the Prophet Mohammed has denied any involvement in the Times Square car bomb. The man who runs the Web site for the Revolution Muslim group in Queens acknowledged he was at Times Square when the propane... More »

Comedy Central Picks Up Onion Sports Network

10-episode test run will begin next year

(Newser) - The Onion will soon be making fun of the world of sports on cable TV. Comedy Central will run a 10-episode batch of shows beginning early next year from the Onion Sports Network, reports Mashable . Athletes, nutso fans, and sportscasters are sure to be fair game. "If I were... More »

Google: Viacom Uploaded Own Clips to YouTube, Then Sued

Accusations fly in YouTube copyright-infringement showdown

(Newser) - Viacom secretly uploaded video clips of its shows to YouTube and then launched a $1 billion copyright-infringement suit over those same clips, according to Google's lawyers. Google claims the company, seeking to promote shows like South Park, hired over a dozen marketing agencies to upload the clips, making sure they... More »

Hulu Losing Daily Show, Colbert Report

Viacom yanking shows as of March 9

(Newser) - Viacom has dealt Hulu what may be its biggest programming setback yet by yanking the Daily Show, the Colbert Report, and several other Comedy Central shows from its service. Hulu announced that it would be losing the shows as of March 9 in a blog posting in which it wished... More »

Hollywood Reeling From DVD Slump

Disappearing profits threaten movies, star deals

(Newser) - Hollywood studios are faced with huge losses because of a 21% slump in DVD sales and the fallout from the crisis on Wall Street, reports the Financial Times. Studio heads have been forced to cut back on the number of new movies in production and are preparing to trim the... More »

Time Warner, Viacom Reach Zero-Hour Deal

Cable provider keeps grip on Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, MTV

(Newser) - The countdown to the New Year was a frantic one for Viacom and Time Warner. The companies had set a midnight deadline in their tense negotiations to keep Viacom’s networks—which include MTV, Comedy Central, and Nickelodeon—on the massive cable provider. As the ball dropped, Viacom granted a... More »

Sobbing SpongeBob Joins Viacom Fee Dispute

Ads aimed at winning support in Time Warner feud feature a sobbing Spongebob

(Newser) - Viacom is enlisting some of its best-known kid cartoon characters in a contract renewal battle with Time Warner, the Wall Street Journal reports. Viacom wants higher fees from the cable carrier for its channels, which could disappear from Time Warner's service at midnight tonight if no new deal is reached.... More »

Dow Loses 215 on Job Cuts

Retailers miss estimates as consumer rein in spending

(Newser) - The markets lost value today amid data that unemployment is growing, and poor sales reports from retailers, MarketWatch reports. Traders are bracing for the worst ahead of the November jobs report, due tomorrow. The Dow fell 215.45, closing at 8,376.24. The Nasdaq dropped 46.82 to settle... More »

Debt-Laden Redstone May Sell Theaters

Media mogul may have to sell CBS stake, too, to placate bankers

(Newser) - With debts threatening to consume his media empire, Sumner Redstone is considering selling his family’s 1,500-screen movie theater chain, the New York Times reports. But even that may not be enough to satisfy his bankers, say people briefed on the negotiations. If things get bad enough, Redstone may... More »

YouTube to Offer MGM Movies, TV Episodes

Internet site to announce new partnership with studio

(Newser) - YouTube and MGM are about to announce a partnership in which movies and TV shows will be offered on the video-sharing website, reports the New York Times. The deal is part of a strategy by YouTube owner Google to cozy up to Hollywood in a bid to compete with rival... More »

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