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Viacom Approves Company Spin-off

Viacom’s Board of Directors has unanimously approved the creation of two separate publicly traded companies through a spin-off to Viacom stockholders, the company announced today.

The new company, created through the tax-free spin-off, will retain the Viacom Inc. name and will be led by Mr. Freston. It will be comprised of MTV Networks (including MTV, VH1, Nickelodeon, Nick at Nite, Comedy Central, CMT: Country Music Television, Spike TV, TV Land, and many other networks around the world), BET, Paramount Pictures, Paramount Home Entertainment, and Famous Music.

The other company, to be called CBS Corporation, will be led by Mr. Moonves and will combine the CBS and UPN broadcast networks; Viacom Television Stations Group; Infinity Broadcasting; Viacom Outdoor; the CBS, Paramount, and King World television production operations; as well as Showtime; Simon & Schuster; and Paramount Parks.

The transaction will result in stockholders holding shares in both companies and is expected to be tax-free to shareholders. Following the spin-off, which is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2006, Sumner Redstone will serve as Chairman and will be the controlling shareholder of the companies — both of which will be headquartered in New York.

[Source: Viacom]

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