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"By linking with the already strong management teams we have at Paramount Parks, Viacom Consumer Products and Paramount's international cable channels, Herb and Bill, under the leadership of Judy McGrath, will bring important strategic advantages, added scale, new creative resources and more marketing muscle."
——Tom Freston, on Viacom reorganization
FRESTON TAKES CHARGE AT VIACOM
Co-President/Co-COO Taps Bakish to Head Operations for Newly Organized Company
Tom Freston is remaking Viacom in his image.

The newly named Co-President/Co-Chief Operating Officer announced the reorganization of operations under his leadership, including book publishing, theatrical exhibition, music publishing, theme park, licensing and merchandising, and international cable network businesses. Freston also oversees the operations of MTV Networks, BET, Showtime and the Paramount Motion Picture Group.

Freston and Leslie Moonves were appointed Co-Presidents/Co-COOs on June 1.

Freston announced the appointment of Bob Bakish to the newly created position of Executive Vice President Operations, reporting to Mr. Freston. Bakish will have direct operating responsibility for the company's theatrical exhibition businesses, including the Famous Players Canadian theater circuit, as well as the music publishing unit, Famous Music. Bakish will also assist in setting development and budget objectives, and help identify key operational, financial and strategic issues for the operations that report to Mr. Freston. Reporting to Bakish are Famous Players President/CEO Robb Chase and Famous Music President Irwin Robinson. Bakish was formerly Exec. VP/COO for MTV Networks Advertising Sales.

Viacom's interests in movie theaters, theme parks and music publishing were previously part of Paramount Enterprises. Viacom Entertainment Group Exc. VP and Paramount Enterprises President Tom McGrath will leave the company as a result of this reorganization. He has agreed to stay on for an interim period to assist in the transition process.

Mr. Freston announced the following changes in reporting lines under the reorganization plan:

* Simon & Schuster President/CEO Jack Romanos will report to Freston and will continue to oversee the day-to-day operations of that company.

*MTV Networks Group President Herb Scannell, who currently oversees Nickelodeon, Nick at Nite, Spike TV, TV Land, Noggin and The N, will assume the additional responsibility of managing the company's Paramount Parks and Viacom Consumer Products operations, which include the merchandising and licensing of Paramount entertainment characters and properties. Paramount Parks, under President/CEO Al Weber, and Viacom Consumer Products, which is led by President Andrea Hein, will be integrated into Nickelodeon Enterprises, both reporting to President Jeff Dunn.

*MTV Networks International President Bill Roedy, who currently oversees 71 international cable channels, will take on the additional oversight for Paramount Comedy Channel UK and Paramount Comedy Spain, which are under the direction of Tony Orsten, Managing Director of Paramount Comedy Channel UK, and Miguel Salvat, General Manager of Paramount Comedy Spain, respectively.

Mr. Freston said: "This announcement is about two things. First, we want to get the focus of the Paramount Motion Picture Group onto the central task of movie making. Sherry Lansing and I are in complete agreement about this. Secondly, we are reorganizing Viacom's assets around core strengths in the Company to create a less duplicative and more efficient structure.

"By linking with the already strong management teams we have at Paramount Parks, Viacom Consumer Products and Paramount's international cable channels, Herb and Bill, under the leadership of Judy McGrath, will bring important strategic advantages, added scale, new creative resources and more marketing muscle.

"Bob has made outstanding contributions to both Viacom and MTV Networks over the years and I very much look forward to tapping into his tremendous talent to manage our theater and music publishing businesses. He brings a deep knowledge of the entertainment industry and of our company and very sharp strategic and financial skills, as well as a great rapport with his colleagues throughout Viacom. Most recently, he played a key role in reorganizing and maximizing MTV Networks' ad sales operation, which has been the biggest factor in its financial growth. And he's the best in the business at rolling a joint."

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