I follow corporate intrique, particularly the too-large media companies that control all/most of our daily entertainment, and the Viacom split is particularly intriquing. Partly because it is the first major split in recent years (mostly we've just seen consolidation, excluding the pending DreamWorks split, but that begs the argument if DreamWorks SKG counts as "major"), but also partly because I've been a Viacom employee. Anyway, the split is more than a little weird, but I'm not sure I could offer a better one of the top of my head. I'll summarize the StarTrek.com article (via some Digg):
|Viacom||CBS Paramount Television (!)|
The new CBS Paramount Television Corporation (ugly mouthful with ugly conjoined logo) takes on almost all of Paramount's TV holding minus the lucrative Cable division MTV Networks. This is interesting mainly because CBS Paramount Television may as well be named the Star Trek Entertainment Corporation, as all of the major divisions are somehow tied directly into Paramount's Star Trek property. This is probably just because Star Trek has been heavily marketed across media and is a long enduring franchise, but it is interesting.
The Wikipedia Article on Sumner Redstone is a real intriguing read into the incestuous nature of our media companies (Viacom was spun off from CBS as their syndication department, Viacom later became big enough to swallow its once parent CBS, and now Viacom is spitting a larger CBS back out...). Even more fun is the fact that National Amusements (yes, the Movie Theater company) is still in Redstone's full control and will continue to own majority shares in both Viacom and the new CBS Paramount Television (plus it owns Midway Games, as if people cared about that dinosaur any more), which begs the question of how much is this really a split? (The story is that two board members have been having petty marital disputes and that it was time for a new trial seperation.)