Viacom's President/COO Resigns

Wednesday, June 2, 2004 2:12 PM
Mel Karmazin, President & COO of Viacom resigned yesterday. There's lots of coverage in the business news outlets, but the rumors have been for months that he & Sumner Redstone (Viacom's CEO, founder, and biggest stockholder) haven't been getting along. Redstone (who is in his 80s) has promised Wall St. that he'd put a succession plan in place and retire in the next three years. Apparently, he'd been dropping hints that Karmazin would NOT be his replacement. Karmazin is rumored to be on Roy Disney & Stanley Gold's short list for a replacement CEO if they can oust Eisner from Disney...

So, what does this mean for PKI? Probably nothing. Viacom's stock barely moved on news of Karmazin's resignation. (Which is somewhat odd, because he'd always been highly respected on Wall St.) Karmazin apparently is/was fanatical about keeping costs down, and one of the rumors is that Redstone wants to increase Paramount's film budget to help solve the problems the studio has had over the last few years. (So...maybe he'll want to increase new attractions budgets as well ). There are also rumors that Viacom may want to get rid of the Infinity radio network because of ongoing weak performance.

Anyway...not 100% on "theme park" topic, but some interesting news on the business side of things.

Joel *** Edited 6/2/2004 6:14:11 PM UTC by JZarley***


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