Here's a little quiz about the media business:
Who recently made this statement: "The age of the conglomerate is over."
While it might seem like something that Michael Moore or Ralph Nader might say, the quote's author is none other than Viacom chief, Sumner Redstone. Of couse, he was making the statement to explain/justify his own company's move to split into two parts - broadcast and cable.
But the statement has the ring of truth because we've recently watched Clear Channel make similar moves with its concert business. The rumors about Disney bailing out of radio resonate as well. And of course, the failed AOL/Time Warner "conglomeration" didn't produce the synergy that was promised at the outset.
As the media business changes - inside and out, micro and macro - and in every other way, the split of these former behemoths continues to reinforce that what was conventional wisdom is now being repudiated by the financial community. Obviously, bigger isn't better. At least for now.
Postscript: Redstone will still oversee both of Viacom's companies.