Viacom Purge Continues as Q3 Profits Slide

13 November 2006

NEW YORK: Another top Viacom executive has been shown the exit door as part of veteran chairman Sumner Redstone's efforts to revive profits at the media and entertainment giant.

Chief financial officer Michael Dolan will leave at the end of the year to be replaced by Thomas Dooley, a longtime Redstone associate and former business partner of Viacom's new ceo Philippe Dauman.

Viacom's third quarter results saw net profits fall by 16% to $356.3 million (€276.5m; £185.8m) from $423.3m, in the year-ago period. A string of disappointing box office movies from its Paramount Studios unit was the main culprit.

Revenue, however, was up 7% to at $2.66 billion, led by 10% growth at the cable division, which includes MTV Networks and Nickelodeon.

The departing Dolan is following hard on the heels of ex-ceo Tom Freston who was ousted by an increasingly impatient Redstone and the board for his perceived slowness in leading Viacom into the digital light [WARC News: 06-Sept-06].

The $62m price tag for firing Freston was another factor in the profits slip.

Dauman told investors that Viacom's digital advertising revenue was growing rapidly and was likely to reach $500m next year, 12 months ahead of schedule.

He said the company, which lost the battle for social networking website to News Corporation, would launch a set of "multi-platform" sites for adults but declined to give details.

Data sourced from; additional content by WARC staff