Moonves: Content is still king

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Don't go slapping that old-media label on CBS. Chairman Les Moonves-who's already forged ahead in the newfangled technology realm by beefing up CBS News Web sites and jumping on the video-on-demand wagon with its Comcast deal to let viewers watch prime-time shows on demand for 99ยข-is now tossing around potential partner names like Google and Yahoo. "They need our content, we need their technology," he told Reuters last week, referring to broader discussions with Internet companies. "We argue about which is more important. I think ultimately my content, no matter how you get it, content is still the most important thing." With online video at the cusp of a tipping point, Moonves also said he was talking to the Web portals about video search as well as VOD opportunities. All this activity comes weeks before the anticipated split of Viacom into two, which Chairman-CEO Sumner Redstone hopes will unlock shareholder value. The one run by Tom Freston was dubbed the "faster-growing" company and includes MTV and Viacom's other cable assets, while Moonves was given the "slower-growing" one, getting old media businesses like CBS and radio. But Les seems determined to prove he can outpace Freston. Nothing like a little sibling rivalry to get things going. Are you impressed yet Sumner?
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