Viacom reports huge 80% rise in profits on music sale

US-based Viacom, a media conglomerate that owns MTV, Comedy Central and Paramount Pictures, reported an 80 % jump in third-quarter earnings on a strong showing from its summer movie 'Transformers' and the sale of a music publishing business, an Associated Press report said.

The Associated Press report quoted the company as saying that it wouldn't see a big impact in the event of a Hollywood writers' strike, except for late-night spoof artists Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, whose shows would go to reruns.

The report also quoted CEO Philippe Dauman as saying that the company's Paramount studio had an ample pipeline of movies, but that the company would 'evaluate' what to do in the time slots of Stewart's and Colbert's shows on Comedy Central if a strike occurs.

In addition to Paramount and Comedy Central, Viacom owns a large stable of cable channels including MTV, VH1 and Nickelodeon. Like its former sister company CBS, its shareholder vote is controlled by Sumner Redstone, the report said.

Viacom earned $641.6 million, in the three months ending in September, up from $356.8 million in the same period a year earlier. The latest results included a $192 million gain from the sale of Famous Music, a music publishing business, the report further said.

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