We always appreciate when media industry leaders, such as Viacom’s Philippe Dauman, reveal how the business really operates. From Broadcasting & Cable, reporting on today’s tony Bear Stearns media conference held in Palm Beach: “While Viacom’s U.S. margins are close to 50%, Dauman said he hoped to maintain them even having to invest in more original programming and getting its digital sales operation up to speed. To help in that effort, he has cut jobs and salaries and restructured, saying there were redundancies and people who were, frankly, overpaid.”

It’s also revealing when key executives explain their vision for the U.S. and global digital media future. It’s not plastics, as it was decades ago in “The Graduate.” It’s “immersive.” Here’s Mr. Dauman view, written by B&C: “In a fragmented world, he said, the ability to reach key demos in an immersive, branded way becomes more and more valuable…. “Our business is to reach consumers through our content everywhere they are, and sell to advertisers that consumer relationship.”

This is real life, Mr. Dauman, not the virtual branded broadband reality you are creating at Viacom. There are consequences to squeezing out such fat profit margins–including the cost to peoples lives as you lay them off. B&C has reported two rounds of cuts. Advocates should press Viacom to spend some of its cable monopoly gain on public interest programming.
Source:”Viacom’s Dauman: YouTube Wasn’t Best Environment for Content.” John Eggerton. B&C [sub may be required]

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