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...They deemed Mr. Moonves's publicly traded turf, the CBS Corporation - now home to broadcast television networks and a Howard Stern-less radio division, but not the highflying cable networks of MTV - a slow-growth company. Leslie Moonves, the CBS chief executive, in Manhattan yesterday discussing the combination of UPN and WB into the new CW network. It has not taken long for Mr. Moonves, 56, to prove that conventional wisdom wrong, at least for the present.

The surprise announcement yesterday that CBS and Time Warner would combine their struggling UPN and WB networks into a joint venture called the CW buoyed CBS's stock, sending it up $1.08, or more than 4 percent, to $26.90. Since CBS started trading on Jan. 3, the stock has risen 5.5 percent, according to company figures.

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Yet the stock market can be a harsh judge. CBS shares may be vibrant right now, but the stock price of the new Viacom, the half being run by Tom Freston, has increased more than 8.5 percent since it sprang free of its CBS counterpart on Jan. 3.
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