February 6, 2017 / 4:33 PM / 6 months ago

Viacom CEO to present turnaround strategy on Thursday

A woman exits the Viacom Inc. headquarters in New York April 30, 2013.Lucas Jackson/File Photo

(Reuters) - Newly named Viacom Inc Chief Executive Officer Bob Bakish will outline his plans to revive the company's struggling business on Thursday during an earnings call, he told shareholders on Monday.

Bakish is focused on fixing the MTV channel and Paramount Pictures film studio, he said during Viacom's annual meeting in New York.

MTV has been struggling with poor ratings as younger viewers increasingly watch content online, while Paramount has suffered from a poor couple of years of film releases.

Bakish, who was formerly head of Viacom's international business, became permanent CEO in December after a year of distractions at the company.

Controlling shareholders Sumner and Shari Redstone were battling for control of Viacom, resulting in the departure of Philippe Dauman as CEO. Bakish was named CEO after the company announced the end of merger explorations with CBS Corp.

Bakish cited five areas targeted for improvement: brands, content, culture, distribution and international opportunities.

"While Viacom has creative, dynamic content, there is no denying we must do better," Bakish said at the annual meeting in Viacom's headquarters.

Bakish made his remarks after shareholders re-elected the five directors who the Redstone family added to the board last year.

As part of the changes, 93-year old Sumner Redstone stepped down from the board.

Redstone is in poor health and has not attended an annual meeting since 2014, but his daughter, Shari, vice chair of the board, was there on Monday.

Viacom is announcing quarterly results on Thursday morning. Analysts on average expect earnings per share of 84 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S, down from $1.18 a year earlier.

Reporting by Jessica Toonkel; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn

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