Citigate Sard helps Viacom announce CEO change

NEW YORK: Viacom worked with Citigate Sard Verbinnen on the surprise rollout of the media company's new CEO this week.

NEW YORK: Viacom worked with Citigate Sard Verbinnen on the surprise rollout of the media company's new CEO this week.

Carl Folta, EVP, office of the chairman at Viacom, confirmed that the company used Sard's help on the announcement. He said that Viacom has worked with the agency on "several projects" in the past.

Folta would not reveal Viacom's plans for positioning its new CEO, saying he preferred to focus communications efforts on the "people who matter," namely Wall Street and Viacom employees.

"It would be premature to go into what our strategy and our communication plan is," he said.

Sard principal Jonathan Gasthalter declined to comment on the agency's work.

Viacom scuttled its CEO Tom Freston, who formerly headed MTV, last week in an abrupt move. Chairman Sumner Redstone reportedly felt that Freston was not improving the company's performance quickly enough. Phillipe Dauman, a lawyer and former Viacom executive, was named as Freston's replacement.

Viacom stock dipped following the announcement on concerns that Redstone was attempting to create change too fast in the gargantuan company. Just last month, Redstone ended Viacom's deal with Tom Cruise, citing the star's erratic behavior in an interview with the Wall Street Journal. 

Viacom's assets include MTV, BET, Paramount, and Dreamworks.

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