RUMORS AND FACTS RUFFLING VIACOM

A New York Post report stating that the man responsible for advertising sales at Viacom’s MTV, Nickelodeon and Comedy Central is jumping ship for Snapchat was promptly contradicted by a Variety story Tuesday.

Jeff Lucas, who has been with Viacom since 2006, would become Chief Operating Officer at Snapchat in July, the New York Post reported, confirming speculation that has been tossed round for several months.

Variety's sources say it isn't so, noting that Lucas has been focused on the upfront market, getting advertisers to believe that Doug Herzog's troubled MTV and Comedy Central can still deliver desired eyeballs. (He also handles Nickelodeon, which has seen an uptick of late, but still has considerable competition from digital platforms.) Coincidentally, Viacom is selling bundled advertising with Snapchat.

Whether he stays or goes—and losing him would be a solid barometer of how troubled the cable channel situation is—the company continues to deal with clashes between controlling shareholder Sumner Redstone, his daughter Shari and Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman.

While various forces in the Viacom empire throw out ideas of how best to proceed with the cable networks, CBS and Paramount Pictures, Viacom’s board of directors wrote in a letter Monday that they would block any attempts from the Redstones to dismiss anyone from the board, effectively siding with Dauman, who was booted from Redstone’s trust and the board of Redstone’s company, National Amusements.

“To a person, we feel the responsibility to challenge in court what we honestly believe would be legally flawed removals,” the letter states. “That is especially so because the flaw we see would be the inexplicable assertion that Sumner was acting of his own free will and with the mental competency to do so.”

Dauman has supported the idea of selling off Paramount, which recently was angling to become the king of concert documentaries with Justin Bieber’s Never Say Never and Katy Perry’s Part of Me.

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