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Dauman: ‘We’re Not Going to Buy CBS’

Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman said the company has no plans to buy CBS.

Both media companies are controlled by 91-year-old Sumner Redstone, whose age and lack of participation in recent earnings calls have led to questions about his succession plans.

Speaking at the Deutsche Bank Media, Internet and Telecom Conference on Monday, Dauman said, “we’re focused on building shareholder value ... we have no intention of buying CBS or any other big company out there.”

Dauman added that “if there are big changes in the landscape and there is a lot of consolidation ... we’ll take a look at that. But we’re not going to be a consolidator."

He also shot down speculation the company might sell it Paramount studio business.

Dauman said that the reorganization that the company is currently undergoing in its media networks business will save the company $250 million in costs. Those savings will kick in in the second half of the year.

He said those savings were net of continued investment in programming and investment in finding new sources of data to measure the audiences for its content at a time when a lot of digital consumption isn’t adequately measured.

“We are obtaining data, using data, obtaining better data,” he said. “That requires investment.”

He added that at this point, he is optimistic that across the industry, efforts to better measure consumption will accelerate.