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Bressler to exit Viacom

Replacement sought for conglom's CFO

Richard J. Bressler will leave his slots as Viacom’s CFO and senior exec VP as soon as a replacement can be found.

Bressler, 46, also once held top posts at Time Warner.

He said Monday that he’s ankling because Viacom co-prexys and co-chief operating officers Leslie Moonves and Tom Freston — who were elevated in June after Mel Karmazin departed — need to have their own management team in place. He’s notified the company that he will not renew his contract, which expires in March 2006.

Viacom will immediately begin a search for a successor to Bressler, who has held the posts since 2001. Exec said he’ll stay on until a new CFO is in place and told Daily Variety that his departure was “beyond amicable.”

“The timing seemed right to plan for my long-term future, which I believe lies elsewhere,” he said. “I am looking forward to finding new challenges following a transition period that will give Viacom ample time to bring in a new chief financial officer.”

Bressler brought strong credentials to Viacom when signed a five-year deal in March 2001. At the time, he was exec VP of AOL Time Warner and CEO of AOL Time Warner Investments and had served as chairman and CEO of Time Warner Digital Media and exec VP and CFO of Time Warner Inc.

Bressler earned a base salary of $1.155 million in 2003, along with a $5.5 million bonus and a grant of 400,000 stock options.

Viacom topper Sumner Redstone said in a statement: “He has been an active and successful advocate for Viacom in the financial markets, a valued strategic adviser, and has helped us become one of the strongest companies in the media business. We support his desire to look outside of Viacom for a challenging new role and we appreciate that he will help us in the transition as we identify a successor.”

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