Skip to main content

A Redstone Reader

Aug. 1, 1981: MTV: Music Television officially launched.

Nov. 12, 1985: Viacom International acquired MTV Networks and Showtime/The Movie Channel from Warner Amex Cable Communications.

June 9, 1987: National Amusements, a theater chain owned by Sumner Redstone, acquired Viacom International in a deal valued at $3.4 billion.

July 2, 1987: Philippe Dauman, a member of New York law firm Shearson & Sterling and a longtime adviser to Redstone, was named to Viacom’s board of directors.

March 11, 1994: Viacom completed its $9.9 billion merger with Paramount Communications.

March 15, 1994: Philippe Dauman was named executive vice president, general counsel and chief administrative officer of Viacom. Thomas Dooley was named executive VP of finance, corporate development and communications.

Jan. 17, 1996: Viacom CEO Frank Biondi resigned; Sumner Redstone assumed the title of CEO. Philippe Dauman and Thomas Dooley were named deputy chairman.

May 4, 2000: Viacom completed its acquisition of CBS in a $39.8 billion deal. CBS CEO Mel Karmazin was named CEO of Viacom. Dauman and Dooley resigned as deputy chairmen but remained on the board of directors.

Jan. 23, 2001: Viacom completed its $3 billion acquisition of Black Entertainment Television.

April 22, 2003: Viacom completed the acquisition of the 50% interest it didn’t already own in Comedy Central from Time Warner for $1.2 billion.

June 1, 2004: Viacom president and chief operating officer Mel Karmazin resigned after months of speculation. Tom Freston and Les Moonves were named co-COOs of the company.

July 18, 2005: News Corp. outbid Viacom for Intermix Media, parent of social networking site MySpace, paying $580 million.

Jan 1, 2006: Viacom completed its split into two separate publicly traded companies: Viacom, which includes MTVN and BET, Paramount Pictures, Paramount Home Entertainment and Famous Music, led by CEO Tom Freston; and CBS, including CBS broadcast network, UPN broadcast network (now The CW); Infinity Broadcasting (now CBS Radio), Viacom Outdoor (now CBS Outdoor), Viacom Television Stations Group (now CBS Television Stations), Paramount Television, King World Productions, Simon & Schuster, Showtime Networks and Paramount Parks (since sold), led by CEO Les Moonves. Stock prices on Jan. 3: Viacom $41.54 per share, CBS $26.20.

Sept. 5, 2006: Freston resigned, Dauman was named CEO and Dooley was named senior VP and chief administrative officer. Stock prices: Viacom $34.97, CBS $28.60.