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Redstone Assures Investors, Can Cover $1.6B Debt: MediaBytes with Shelly Palmer November 14, 2008

11/14/2008 10:19 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Sumner Redstone repeated his promise that he will not sell anymore stock in either CBS or Viacom. Redstone assured investors he has more than enough assets to cover the $1.6 billion debt. Shares in both companies were up on the news, as Redstone works with bankers on restructuring the debt.

Microsoft will offer 0% financing on business software. The deal, available to company's spending between $20,000 and $1 million on MSFT's customer management and accounting software, is an incentive to sign up small and medium sized businesses during the recession.

Microsoft is relaunching Windows Live as a social networking tool. The service, which can import content from Twitter, Flickr, LinkedIn, Yelp and other sites, organizes information in a Facebook-like news feed. The big question is whether or not Microsoft jumped on the social network wagon too late to make a significant impact on Facebook and MySpace.

Google has added voice recognition software to its iPhone application, to be available today. Users can pose a question, the sound of which is converted to a digital file and sent to a private Google server, where it is analyzed, and subsequently searched on Google, with answers appearing in text. Google's goal is to dramatically increase advertising value through location and voice services.

Plus, today's consulting question, "Local TV news is so important, how can Fox and NBC merge their local news departments?" Shelly has the answer on today's MediaBytes.

Shelly Palmer is a consultant and the host of MediaBytes a daily show featuring news you can use about technology, media & entertainment. He is Managing Director of Advanced Media Ventures Group LLC and the author of Television Disrupted: The Transition from Network to Networked TV (2008, York House Press). Shelly is also President of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, NY (the organization that bestows the coveted Emmy® Awards). You can join the MediaBytes mailing list here. Shelly can be reached at shelly@palmer.net