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Viacom Bumps Up Planned Split

Viacom Inc. will become two publicly traded companies earlier than expected. The media giant plans to complete the move by the end of 2005.

The company had previously announced it would become two entities—a new Viacom and a new CBS Corp.—sometime during the first quarter of 2006.

The new Viacom will include the MTV Networks group (including MTV, VH1, Nickelodeon, Nick at Nite, Comedy Central and other channels), as well as BET, Paramount Pictures, Paramount Home Entertainment and Famous Music.

CBS Corp. will consist of the CBS Television Network, UPN, Infinity Broadcasting, Viacom Outdoor, Viacom Television Stations Group, Paramount Television, King World, Simon & Schuster, Showtime and Paramount Parks.