Viacom will be a "smaller and more focused company" in ’05 as it plans to divest itself of non-strategic radio stations, Sumner Redstone pledged at Bear Stearns’ media conference. Being smaller doesn’t mean Viacom won’t consider acquisitions, though…they just have to be at the right price. What about Cablevision’s Rainbow nets? "We’re not going to rule out an acquisition. I’ve negotiated with [Chuck] Dolan for as long as I can remember. We’ve never been able to make a deal with Dolan at the right price, and that was when they had Bravo, which was the best of what he had." Redstone also said Viacom is aggressively exploring VOD deals with cable ops that "could quickly turn to profit." He complained that Wall St misconstrued its 4Q $18bln write-down, pointing to successful acquisitions, such as King World. And while he didn’t mention former pres/COO Mel Karmazin, it sounded as if he was taking a shot at him ""Radio was cash-starved, and we couldn’t launch the gay-and-lesbian channel [Logo] because it would cost $30mln," Redstone said. "That’s a channel that could be worth $1bln. I actually intervened before the change in management."

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