A FIRING AT FORT SUMNER

VIACOM'S FRANK BIONDI SEEMED AN IDEAL MATCH FOR REDSTONE. NO MORE

IN THE HIGH-FLYING, HIGH-VISIBILITY world of media moguldom, Frank Biondi has always been the rare bird: a quiet one. As the president and CEO of Viacom--the conglomerate that owns the Showtime and mtv cable networks, Simon & Schuster publishing, the Blockbuster video chain and Paramount's movie and TV empire--he has been regarded as a smart, low-key executive who stresses teamwork over autocratic rule. But being a team player is not always an asset when the reigning autocrat--in this case, Viacom chairman Sumner Redstone--wants to run the show. Last week, in a move that surprised practically everyone, Biondi was fired.

His fate...

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