VIACOM MAY SPLIT ITSELF IN TWO
Cable TV Assets Would Become Their Own Separately Traded Company
VIACOM REPORTS $18 BILLION FOURTH-QUARTER LOSS
Cites Weakness in Radio, Outdoor Units
VIACOM CREATES NEW MARKETING UNIT
Names CBS CMO George Schweitzer Its President
Mr. Dolan will report directly to Viacom's chairman, Sumner Redstone. Viacom has sought a new CFO since January, when Richard Bressler told the company he was resigning.
"As we continue to assess the possible separation of Viacom into two publicly traded entities, we will benefit from Mike's experience in successfully completing complex financial transactions," Mr. Redstone said in a statement.
In March, Mr. Redstone announced his intention to split Viacom into two companies, each run by his co-presidents and co-chief operating officers, Tom Freston and Leslie Moonves. The Viacom board is expected to agree to the split at its May 3 meeting.
Mr. Freston's division is being pitched as the high-growth side of the business, as it houses MTV Networks Group (MTV, Nickelodeon), Paramount Studios and publisher Simon & Shuster. Mr. Moonves will remain in charge of the more stable, high-cash-flow half of the business, encompassing the CBS Group (broadcast TV), Infinity Broadcasting (radio) and Viacom Outdoor, its outdoor advertising division.
CFO of cable operation
When the company begins trading separately, expected as early as the first quarter 2006, Mr. Dolan is expected to become CFO of Mr. Freston's unit, while CBS's station group president, Fred Reynolds, will take the role of CFO at the broadcast/radio company.
Mr. Dolan helped bring private ad agency Young & Rubicam public in 1998 and later oversaw its sale to WPP in 2000. He left the agency after disputes with WPP's chief executive, Martin Sorrell. Mr. Dolan was replaced by former Kraft executive Ann Fudge. He was previously CFO at Snack Ventures Europe, a company co-owned by PepsiCo and General Mills, before joining Young & Rubicam.