Karmazin Wouldn’t Have Split Viacom; Disappointed in NAB

Karmazin Wouldn’t Have Split Viacom; Disappointed in NAB
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Sirius President/CEO Mel Karmazin tells Newsweek the satcaster could be generating cash by the fourth quarter of this year.
He also said he wouldn’t have split up Viacom into two separate units, Viacom and CBS. He’s the one who put them together.
In a Q&A, Karmazin also revealed “disappointment” with the NAB for asking the FCC to apply its indecency rules to satellite radio.
“An organization like the NAB should be a proponent of free speech,” Newsweek quotes Karmazin as saying. “There’s certainly disappointment on my part and I know others who are saying, gee, that’s not what the NAB should be doing.”
Asked why Internet firms pose a threat to traditional media, Karmazin said there’s opportunity with larger companies such as Yahoo or Google to bolster the financials for traditional media, yet acknowledges those companies are not on the block and such a purchase would be “immaterial to revenues” for a long time.
“The stock multiple of these Internet companies, vs. the stock multiple of media stocks, makes that kind of combination almost impossible,” states Karmazin.
Asked for comment by RW Online, NAB spokesman Dennis Wharton said, “NAB believes responsible self-regulation is preferable to government regulation in areas related to program content. However, if there is government regulation, satellite radio ought not get a free pass given the explicitness of its content.”

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