Viacom Upgrades MTV, Nick Brands To 'Full Labels'

At a time when CBS is moving quickly to shed former Viacom assets, its former sister company is becoming even more integrated. Viacom Inc. late Monday announced plans to make its flagship MTV and Nickelodeon cable network brands "full labels" of its Paramount Motion Pictures Group unit. As part of the reorganization, MTV and Nickelodeon will establish themselves as full-fledged studios alongside Viacom's Paramount Pictures, Dreamworks SKG, Paramount Vintage and Paramount Classics labels.

Veteran producer Scott Aversano was named president of MTV Films and Nick Movies, reporting to Gail Berman, president of Paramount Pictures, with a dotted line to Van Toffler, Group President, MTV Networks Music Group, and Cyma Zarghami, President, Nickelodeon and MTV Networks Kids and Family Group, on image- and brand-related matters.

MTV Films has created such movies as "Napoleon Dynamite" and "Hustle & Flow," while Nick Movies has produced this summer's "Nacho Libre," and a number of films leveraging the channel's "Rugrats" and "Spongebob Squarepants" franchises.



The word nickelodeon, ironically, was originally created to describe an early movie theater, which charged an admission price of five cents.

Former Viacom unit CBS, meanwhile, appears to be going an opposite route, shedding assets rather than integrating them. It recently announced the sale of its Paramount Parks unit for $1.24 billion, as well as its intention to divest a number of radio stations. It recently announced a deal to sell 15 stations to Entercom for $262 million, and is expected to put more on the block. The company also is believed to be weighing the sale of its Simon & Schuster book publishing operations.

Next story loading loading..