Viacom Radio President Falls on Sword After Boss’s Criticism

30 April 2003

Viacom president/coo Mel Karmazin has been sitting through reruns of The Godfather movie trilogy, if his manpower disposal techniques are any guide!

Just one week back, he publicly delivered the Mafiosi kiss to radio industry veteran John Fullam, president of Viacom unit Infinity Broadcasting.

Speaking to analysts last week, Karmazin roundly criticized Infinity’s performance, slamming this as “not an acceptable level for Viacom in this extraordinarily good advertising environment … [there is] no excuse for Infinity failing to post higher growth.”

The butt of his criticism, however, was not Infinity’s ceo John Sykes: “John is a great executive,” said Karmazin. “I now need John as the ceo and the leader of that company to show the results that our shareholders and I [seek].”

The hapless Fullam went pointedly unmentioned. Nor could he speak for himself, as in true Sicilian fashion omerta reigned. According to an Infinity spokesman, Fullam was “on vacation and couldn't be reached”.

The inevitable happened Monday and Fullam, who joined Viacom only last year, dutifully fell on his sword.

Data sourced from: Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff