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Viacom Reports Record Quarter

Viacom Inc. is reporting record earnings for the second quarter, including double-digit growth in broadcast and cable segments from second-quarter 2003.

The second-quarter report also shows that the company paid former Viacom President Mel Karmazin about $35 million in severance and former Entertainment Group President Jonathan Dolgen another $20 million.
Cable network revenue was up 18% for the second quarter to 1.587 billion over the same quarter last year, with operating income up 23%. On the broadcast television side--networks and stations--revenue was up 11% to 2.063 billion. Viacom's total revenue for the quarter was $6.8 billion, up 7% from the same quarter last year.

Revenue increases in cable were led by a 26% boost in ad revenues for MTV Networks and a 23% ad boost for BET. Affiliate fees were up 8%. Ancillary revenue was up 17%, thanks in part to higher Nickelodeon licensing revenues. Dave Chapelle, who is currently negotiating for a third year on Comedy Central, should take note that Viacom attributes its higher home video revenue "principally [to] Chapelle's Show.

On the broadcast side, the 11% revenue boost was attributed to a 10% ad revenue increase for a combined CBS and UPN, with CBS prime time, late night and sports doing most of the heavy lifting, plus an 8% ad boost for the TV stations division thanks to a stronger CBS schedule and political advertising.