Karmazin Foresees 2nd Half Rebound

NEW YORK — Viacom Inc. President and Chief Operating Officer Mel Karmazin said he expects a strong advertising environment in the second half of 2001 with his company being a big beneficiary of that spending.

He said advertising growth will be slower than it was in 2000 when dot-com advertising was powering the industry. But Mr. Karmazin expects total advertising spending will be stronger than it was in 2000, growing more than the gross domestic product.

Viacom should do better than its competitors in grabbing advertising dollars in 2001, Mr. Karmazin said. He noted that shows like ‘Rugrats’ on the Nickelodeon cable channel and ‘Touched By An Angel’ on CBS can reach audiences of many different ages. And Viacom can offer advertisers time on many different platforms, including broadcast and cable television, radio and outdoor advertising.

Mr. Karmazin made his comments at the Big Picture Conference sponsored by Salomon Smith Barney here.

Copyright (c) 2001 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.