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Post-split meet held

Conglom to focus on new media, overseas biz

Viacom CEO Tom Freston talked up the slimmed-down media conglom Wednesday at the company’s first annual shareholders meeting since it split from CBS early this year.

Viacom, which owns Paramount, MTV Networks and Comedy Central, will focus on new media, overseas biz and social responsibility initiatives, said Freston, who appeared at the meeting with chairman Sumner Redstone.

The company’s also been busy remaking Paramount, installing all new management and buying DreamWorks for $1.6 billion. It sold the DreamWorks library to Soros Strategic Partners and Dune Entertainment for $900 million.

Freston said he welcomed increasing media fragmentation as youths migrate to the Internet and videogames. “We’ve long been the king of the short attention span,” joked Freston, the longtime chief of MTV.

He said Viacom is talking with Net portals like Yahoo! to get more Viacom-generated video on the Web.

(The Associated Press contributed to this story.)

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