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Viacom irked by Fuse billboard

Music network Fuse’s latest New York billboard has apparently irked Viacom
Inc., parent of rival music network MTV: Music Television.

Fuse, formerly MuchMusic USA, had been planning to unfurl a new billboard in
New York’s Times Square Friday gibing at MTV’s Hamptons beach house on Long
Island’s tony East End and touting its version of a beach house: a rundown
trailer home.

Viacom’s Viacom Outdoors unit, which owns the billboard on the
Bertelsmann Building, rejected the ad for being too tacky, Fuse representatives said. At
press time, Fuse said Viacom was reconsidering.

Fuse, the billboard proclaims, plays all music all day -- a shot at MTV’s light
video lineup. But MTV likes to point out that sister network MTV2 plays all
music videos, and MTV2 counts about 50 million subscribers to Fuse’s 31
million.

Fuse’s mobile home may make it to Times Square either way: Network president
Mark Juris plans to drive it there himself.

Contributing editor Paige Albiniak has been covering the business of television for nearly 25 years. She is a longtime contributor to Next TV, Broadcasting + Cable and Multichannel News. She concurrently serves as editorial director for entertainment marketing association Promax. She has written for such publications as TVNewsCheck, The New York Post, Variety, CBS Watch and more. Albiniak was B+C’s Los Angeles bureau chief from September 2002 to 2004, and an associate editor covering Congress and lobbying for the magazine in Washington, D.C., from January 1997-September 2002.