Will They Reach the Altar?

At first glance the proposed nuptials of Viacom Inc. and Paramount Communications look like a marriage made in heaven. The merged company, to be called Paramount Viacom, would unite Paramount's film and television studios with Viacom's cable systems and its networks such as MTV and Nickelodeon. Result: a global giant primed to compete with heavyweights like Time Warner, Tele-Communications Inc. (TCI) and Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. in everything from making movies to building an interactive electronic highway into the home. "It's absolutely the best fit" of all the recent media mergers, says Frank Mancuso, former president of Paramount and now head...

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