Inside Move: Viacom pair feed off each other

Nick prexy Scannell dispels rumors

Before anything else in a speech to 400 media buyers Tuesday at New York’s Marriott Marquis, Nickelodeon prexy Herb Scannell quickly dispelled rumors of friction between his Viacom bosses Sumner Redstone and Mel Karmazin.

“I’m here to tell you that they’ve never gotten along better,” the kiddie cabler chief declared at the outset of his address. “In fact, they’re doing everything together. Like this morning, they came here together to prepare your breakfast.”

The overhead projection quickly flashed to a manipulated photo of the two Viacom biggies in chef’s outfits, cooking the breakfast for the 600 or so guests who attended the morning event.

“If you like the eggs, thank Sumner — they’re his specialty; and the breakfast meat — that’s Mel’s.”

who was in the audience, appeared amused.

Scannell soon took the opportunity to tubthump Nick’s recent performance, which includes the biggest fourth quarter in the cablers’ history in terms of eyeballs: a 2% jump to 1.33 million kids from the ages of 2-11. He then ceded the stage to several dance routines, including a rousing number of “Dancing Tween” and a surprise perf by anthemic fratrockers Smashmouth.

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