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Suleman tapped prexy at Infinity

Takes charge of 185 U.S. stations, domestic ads

NEW YORK — Viacom said Thursday it has promoted Farid Suleman to president-CEO of its Infinity radio and outdoor advertising group.

Viacom chief operating officer Mel Karmazin previously held that title, while Suleman, who joined Infinity in 1986, served as exec VP, chief financial officer and treasurer.

The company became a division of Viacom in May when the entertainment conglom bought Infinity parent CBS.

Infinity went public in 1998 in what was at that time the largest initial public offering in the history of the New York Stock Exchange. Infinity’s fast-growing assets are key components of the combined Viacom/CBS group.

But Viacom topper Sumner Redstone and Karmazin have been disappointed by Infinity’s stock price and also felt the company could operate more efficiently as a fully owned subsidiary. So Viacom recently bought back all of Infinity’s outstanding shares and took the company private. That deal closed earlier this week.

Suleman, who is close to Karmazin and highly regarded on Wall Street, has also been exec VP and chief financial officer of Westwood One since 1994. He is a graduate of the University of Nottingham, England, and is a chartered accountant and a CPA.

Infinity owns 185 radio stations in the U.S. and is the largest outdoor advertising company in North America — operating in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. Company has a European presence in the U.K., Netherlands, France, Italy and Ireland, and Infinity manages Viacom’s equity position in Westwood One.

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