Viacom jumps over to Nasdaq

Media conglom leaves NYSE, cites fee savings

Viacom announced plans Friday to switch trading in its shares from the New York Stock Exchange to the Nasdaq Global Market starting Dec. 1, a move the company said is voluntary and will save it money.

The NYSE carries higher listing and other fees than Nasdaq, which was once purely a haven for volatile Internet and technology firms and still is home to companies like Apple, Microsoft, Google, Yahoo and Netflix. Older, more established names tended to stick with the NYSE, considered tonier.

But lately the Nasdaq, where stocks are traded through an electronic system and not on a trading floor, has been luring companies from the Big Board and gaining a broader membership. News Corp. trades there.

Adding Viacom, another high-profile media conglom, is something of a coup.

Viacom, owner of Paramount and MTV Networks said its new home “will be more cost effective, while continuing to provide Viacom shareholders with strong execution and liquidity.”

Its Class A and Class B shares will trade under the same stock symbols, VIA and VIAB.