Viacom Spins Off CBS

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Viacom’s board of directors unanimously approved a plan to split the company into two parts.

The company said it will spin off the bulk of its operations into a new company to be called CBS Corp. That unit will include CBS network and stations, Paramount and King World television production; Infinity radio, Viacom Outdoor; Showtime, and publisher Simon & Schuster.

Viacom Inc. will retain the faster-growing business units, including MTV Networks and Paramount Pictures.

Viacom Chairman, CEO and controlling shareholder Sumner Redstone will be chairman of both companies when they’re divided early next year, but will no longer be CEO.

Tom Freston will become CEO of Viacom, while Les Moonves will become CEO of  CBS Corp. Viacom expects to spend more than six months securing regulatory approval of the deal.

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