Investor concerns about the channel’s 31% drop in primetime ratings this season vs last year have contributed to the 13% decline in Viacom‘s stock price since early October. But CEO Philippe Dauman assured analysts this morning that MTV is “not broken.” Indeed he says the channel for teens and young adults is “highly successful” and he has “no concerns about MTV’s vitality going forward.” As evidence he noted that Catfish: The TV Show — a reality program that helps people to connect with their online romances — on Monday became “the highest-rated launch in MTV history.” He adds that the network has a “great development platform.” Dauman also talked up the decision this week to hire former WB and Lifetime programming chief Susanne Daniels to take charge of MTV’s programming, replacing David Janollari. “We’ve had our eye on her for a long time,” Dauman says, adding that she will help to “turbocharge” development of both reality and scripted shows for MTV. Viacom shares are up 3.4% in early trading after it reported fiscal Q4 earnings that were better than many feared, and execs reassured investors that it will repurchase at least $2.5B of its stock in the current fiscal year.
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