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Viacom to Split by Year-End

The company had previously expected to complete its transaction early next year.
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(VIAB) - Get Free Report

much anticipated disassembly play will now take place sooner rather than later.

The Sumner Redstone-helmed company said it now expects the transaction that will split it into two publicly traded entities will "likely be completed by the end of 2005." Viacom had previously indicated that the split would be completed in early 2006.

Earlier this year, the company announced it would be separating into the new Viacom, a growth play to be led by Tom Freston, and the new CBS, a value play led by Leslie Moonves.

Viacom will include MTV Networks (MTV, VH1, Nickelodeon, Nick at Nite, Comedy Central, CMT: Country Music Television, Spike TV, TV Land and other international networks), BET, Paramount Pictures, Paramount Home Entertainment and Famous Music. It is expected to appeal to growth investors. CBS will consist of the CBS Television Network, UPN, Infinity Broadcasting, Viacom Outdoor, Viacom Television Stations Group, Paramount Television, King World, Simon & Schuster, Showtime and Paramount Parks.

On Tuesday afternoon shares in Viacom were trading down 15 cents to $30.90.