Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Will Viacom Sell Off Radio assets?!

Or, Karmazin as Eisner Successor at Disney?

The exodus of Mel Kamazin at Viacom has rocked the entertainment media universe harder than Mike Tyson did when punching out Wesley Snipes back in the day (Ka-Pow!). Seth Seutel of AP reports:

"In a conference call with Wall Street analysts, (Viacom CEO Sumner) Redstone said Karmazin left because of 'frustration' with the company's sagging stock price and the lingering troubles at the company's radio division.

"Redstone suggested that Viacom's new management team would consider getting rid of the radio business, saying the company would have a 'hard look' at the radio operation as well as other assets. 'There is no sacred cow,' Redstone said. 'But for the time being we're committed to radio.'"

For the time being: What does this mean precisely for the beleagured Howard Stern? For the time being sounds like Bryant Gumbel's first marriage. Ooof! Marksfriggin.com summarized Howard's on air thoughts:

"Howard hasn't heard from Mel yet and he figures it might have something to do with the company being a publicly traded company. He believes that no one at the company is going to back him up like Mel did so his days are really numbered now. He said that Mel told him that his show really hasn't changed and he was to just keep broadcasting like he was doing it. He talked about that conversation and how Mel convinced him to just go back to work and keep doing his show the way he was doing it. He has to work around the delay hits and stuff like that but he could keep doing the show.

"Howard is in shock this morning because Mel was his backup there at the company. Now he's got Les Moonves, who he has had problems with in the past, running the company. Howard sees a darkness at the end of his tunnel with all of this going on. It can't be good for his show because Mel had his back."

One caller, late in the show, gamely suggested to Stern that he interview Karmazin on his ABC special. Howard said that was a good idea. And, that might be interesting considering Karamzin has been mentioned as a successor to Eisner at Disney.

What this means to the beleagured Stern Show is, as yet, beyond the purview of The Corsair's crystal ball.

But Karmazin would be the perfect Eisner successor, no? You heard it here first, anyhoo; although we will back Viacom over The Collapsing Mouse House and their last place network and cheesy theme parks anyday.

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