Who Owns What
The Delacorte Lectures
Magazines and Their Websites: A Columbia Journalism Review Survey and Report
CJR's guide to what the major media companies own.
Select a media company below to begin.
Know something we don't about Who Owns What? Drop us a line at email@example.com.
- National Amusements has controlling interests in CBS and Viacom.
- 1515 Broadway
New York, NY 10036
Voice (212) 258-6000
- One of the largest global media empires, Viacom has a financial interest in broadcast and cable television, radio, Internet, book publishing, and film production and distribution. Some of this vertically integrated conglomerate's highly recognizable properties include the CBS network, MTV, Infinity broadcasting, Simon & Schuster, Blockbuster and Paramount Pictures. With such a diverse portfolio of properties, Viacom is one of the most profitable media giants as CBS is a top draw for older viewers while MTV remains the most popular teen orientated media outlet.
- Adolph Zukor founds the Famous Players Film Corp
- Famous Players becomes Paramount Pictures becomes
Famous Players-Lasky Corp.
- Westinghouse engineer Dr. Frank Conrad begins experimental
radio broadcasts from his home in Pittsburgh
- Westinghouse's KDKA in Pittsburgh
begins scheduled radio programming with the Harding-Cox Presidential
- Richard L. (Dick) Simon and M. Lincoln (Max) Schuster
form Simon & Schuster. First publication is a cross word puzzle
- William S. Paley purchases the Columbia Broadcasting
System for $400,000. Paley first became interested in the radio
business after purchasing advertising time for his La Palina Cigar
- Famous Players-Lasky Corp. becomes Paramount Pictures
after bankruptcy and reorganization.
- Edward R. Murrow and William L. Shirer do a radio
news program which eventually becomes The CBS World News Roundup
- CBS buys American Record Company, owner of the
Columbia Phonograph label. CBS renames the division Columbia Record
- CBS launches the first commercial black & white
- Department of Justice announces the Paramount decree
which forces the film studios to sell off their movie theaters
- Sumner Redstone takes control of National Amusements
Inc. (NAI), a chain of movie theaters
- Murrow resigns from CBS
- CBS purchases the New York Yankees
- Diversified conglomerate, Gulf + Western, buys
Paramount Pictures. Gulf + Western is owned by Charles Bluhdorn
- CBS teams up with a Japanese company to form CBS-Sony
- FCC's Fin-Syn ruling limits the financial interest
television networks can have in syndicated programming. As a result,
Viacom is formed after CBS spins off its television programming
- CBS sells Yankees to George Steinbrenner
- Dan Rather replaces Walter Cronkite as anchor on
the CBS Evening News
- (August 1) MTV is launched
- Ted Turner makes a takeover attempt on CBS. Loew's
president, Laurence Tisch, buys a 25% share in CBS to block Turner's
takeover. Loews is a multi-national conglomerate with interests
ranging from tobacco to insurance. Jesse Helms and Ivan Boesky
also make unsuccessful bids for CBS.
- First Blockbuster Video store opens in Dallas
- Tisch becomes CEO of CBS
- Redstone becomes Chairman of the Board of Viacom
after NAI buys a majority interest in it
- CBS sells its entire book publishing division for
- Wayne Huizenga, who made his money in the waste
business, buys Blockbuster
- Gulf + Western changes its name to Paramount Communications
- Paley dies of a heart attack at age 89
- Viacom acquires Paramount Communications for $10
billion. Viacom was in a bidding war for Paramount with USA Networks.
- Viacom acquires Blockbuster Video from Huizenga
for $8.4 billion
- Viacom sells Madison Square Garden and its related
properties to Cablevision, and ITT for $1 billion
- Viacom sells its cable systems to John Malone's
- (November) CBS is sold to the Westinghouse Corporation
for $5.4 billion
- (January 16) UPN network hits the television airwaves
- Redstone becomes Viacom's CEO
- Westinghouse/CBS buys Infinity radio broadcasting
and outdoor advertising group for $4.7 billion. This deal is mainly
a result of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 which heavily deregulated
the media industry and allowed a company to significantly increase
the amount of radio stations it could own.
- CBS buys American Radio Systems chain
- Viacom deals its educational, professional and
reference publishing businesses to Pearson for 4.6 billion. Viacom
retains Simon & Schuster.
- Westinghouse changes name to CBS and sells its
hardware and manufacturing operations
- CBS buys King World Productions, leading television
program syndicator, for $2.5 billion
- Infinity buys Outdoor Systems billboard group for
- (September, 7) Viacom and CBS announce merger.
The $50 billion deal, the largest media merger of the time, comes
one month after the FCC gives approval to duopolies. The new Viacom
has 33 television stations which eclipse the FCC's 35 % ownership
cap. The cap is based on the amount of stations one company owns
that reach 35% or more of the nation's television households.
- United States Court of Appeals, DC Circuit gives
Viacom temporary approval to exceed the 35% ownership cap
- Viacom completes $3 billion deal for BET Inc.
- Viacom completes acquisition of KCAL-TV (Los Angeles)
from Young Broadcasting Inc. for $650 million. The deal forms
a Viacom duopoly in Los Angeles raising the number of markets
where it owns two broadcast stations to eight.
- Infinity Broadcasting owns and operates 185 radio
stations, second in size to only Clear Channel Communications.
Viacom Outdoor is the largest outdoor advertising entity in North
America. Viacom Television Stations Group owns and operates 39
- After years of internal battles with Viacom CEO Sumner Redstone, Mel
Karmazin, resigns as the company's chief operating officer. Karmazin was
formely the president and CEO of CBS
- The "new" Viacom gains control of trendy Neopets, a popular children's website. Through Paramount, they also acquire DreamWorks.
- Viacom acquires several new holdings: Xfire, Atom Entertainment, and Harmonix.
- Viacom engaged in disputes with YouTube over copyrighted video clips, and removed their leaked clips from the site. They opted instead for a content licensing deal with similar videosharing website Joost. Later in the year, Viacom entered into a split venture with Global Broadcast News, the result of which was Viacom-18: a provider of Viacom channels in India as well as Network 18's Bollywood movie business. In December, Viacom signed a 5-year contract with Microsoft, thus ensuring mutually heightened advertising between the two companies.
- Cable Networks
- Atom Entertainment
- BET Networks
- BET Event Productions
- BET Gospel
- BET Hip Hop
- BET International
- BET Mobile
- BET Pictures
- CMT Loaded
- CMT Mobile
- CMT On Demand
- CMT Pure Country
- CMT Radio
- Comedy Central
- GT Marketplace
- MTV Networks
- MTV Books
- MTV Hits
- MTV Jams
- MTVN International
- Game One
- MTV Boombox
- MTV OVERDRIVE
- MTV Revolution
- TMF (The Music Factory)
- Tr3s: MTV, Musica y Mas
- Nick at Nite
- Nick Jr.
- The Click
- Nick Arcade
- Nick GAS
- Nickelodeon Consumer Products
- Nicktoons Network
- Spike TV
- Spike Filmed Entertainment
- TV Land
- VH1 Classic
- Viacom International Media Networks
- Paramount Pictures Corporation
- MTV Films
- Nickelodeon Movies
- Paramount Animation
- Paramount Home Entertainment
- Paramount Pictures
- Paramount Vantage
- Viacom Digital
- Rainbow Group (Minority Interest)
- last updated 2/14/2013