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Viacom is an international media conglomerate. The companies owned by Viacom touch virtually every major segment of the media industry. Their company portfolio currently includes:

Table of contents
1 History
2 Assets
3 External links


Viacom began life as the television syndication division of CBS, CBS Films. In 1971, the division was renamed Viacom International, and in 1973 it was spun off, amid new FCC rules forbidding television networks from owning syndication companies.

Viacom made large amounts of money during the 1970s and 1980s distributing old CBS classics to syndication, including such landmark shows as I Love Lucy, The Andy Griffith Show and All in the Family. They also syndicated shows for others, the biggest examples being The Cosby Show and Roseanne.

In 1985, Viacom bought Warner-Amex Satellite Entertainment, which owned MTV and Nickelodeon, renaming the company MTV Networks. In 1986, Viacom was bought by movie theater owner National Amusements, which brought Sumner Redstone to the company. Redstone made a string of large acquisitions in the early 1990s, announcing plans to buy Paramount Pictures in 1993, and buying the Blockbuster chain in 1994.

The Blockbuster acquisition gave Viacom access to large television holdings controlled by Aaron Spelling's company, Spelling Entertainment; along with his own productions (such as The Love Boat and Beverly Hills 90210), Spelling controlled the pre-1973 ABC and NBC back catalogs by way of Worldvision Enterprises and Republic Pictures. After these acquisitions, Viacom owned many movie and television production and syndication units, which were slowly integrated into Paramount; many TV shows previously distributed by Viacom, Republic or Worldvision have since gained Paramount closing logos.

In 1999, Viacom made what has been its biggest acquisition so far, by announcing plans to buy its former parent CBS. The merger was approved in 2000, bringing cable channels TNN (now Spike TV) and CMT under Viacom's wing, as well as CBS's production units and TV syndicators Eyemark (formerly Group W) and King World. As of this writing, CBS's production unit and King World (which has since absorbed Eyemark) are operating under their own names, as parts of CBS, and no attempt has been made thus far to move them around in Viacom's corporate structure; however, TNN and CMT were merged into MTV Networks almost immediately.

In 2001, Viacom completed its purchase of Black Entertainment Television. As with TNN and CMT, it was immediately integrated into MTV Networks, causing some outcry among BET workers in the Washington, DC area (where BET was based before the merger). FYI - BET was not integrated into MTV remains a separately managed channel under Viacom.


Radio Networks

Radio Stations


Film Production and Distribution

Advertising & Merchandising

Theater Operations



Television Networks



Television Production and Distribution

Television Stations

Sumner Redstone is Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, and Mel Karmazin is the president and Chief Operating Officer.

External links