Viacom's (NYSE:VIA) stock jumped almost 9% after the company released earnings yesterday. Is the "new" Viacom finally starting to live up to the separation hype that investors hoped would lead to an "improved" company?

If you recall, the "old" Viacom split itself into two back in January, becoming CBS (NYSE:CBS) and the new Viacom. The company broke up to separate Viacom's hip, fast-growing media properties from the old-media assets of CBS' television, radio, outdoor advertising, and publishing. Those sectors are suffering from an onslaught of new distribution channels and advertising outlets, including the Internet and satellite radio. CBS's new-media rivals include Yahoo! (NASDAQ:YHOO), XM (NASDAQ:XMSR), and Sirius (NASDAQ:SIRI). That's not to mention Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX), which is hurting Blockbuster (NYSE:BBI), another of Viacom's disowned stepchildren. In some form or another, the new kids on the block are wreaking havoc on the more mature firms and their stodgier business models.

Indeed, fellow Fool Alyce Lomax thinks that CBS's newfound independence exposes a number of challenges ahead that were obscured when it was a Viacom component. But CBS's pain should be the new Viacom's gain, leaving the conglomerate with higher-margin cable network channels such as MTV, Nickelodeon, and Comedy Central, just to name a few. These channels account for nearly 70% of Viacom's total revenue. There's also the storied Paramount Pictures and the recently acquired DreamWorks SKG, to name a few other major entertainment brands. The entertainment segment accounts for about 30% of total company revenue.

Strangely enough, since the separation, CBS' stock has performed much better than Viacom's. Fortunately for Viacom, the market seemed to be pleasantly surprised by its second-quarter results, as its cable advertising revenue came in ahead of the Street's expectations. It's also encouraging that management stuck by its full-year guidance. Overall, the solid results could be the first indication that the smaller and nimbler Viacom is starting to excel in a changing entertainment landscape. Sumner Redstone is probably breathing the biggest sigh of relief; he's Viacom's head honcho and primary shareholder.

The new Viacom's programming can be distributed through virtually any type of media, be it television, the Internet, radio, or satellite. And geography is no longer a boundary; Viacom already has a global footprint, but management intends to further emphasize international expansion for a good portion of future growth. The company is still quite dependent on advertising (it accounted for about 40% of revenue last year), but at least it can focus on growing and acquiring its way into the areas where advertisers are moving to chase consumers, cyberspace included. In addition, Viacom still has some opportunity at Paramount Pictures, if the studio can successfully rebound after flops like Mission: Impossible 3.

Overall, it looks like "new" is starting to pay off for Viacom.

For related Foolishness:

Netflix is a Stock Advisor pick, while XM is a Rule Breakers pick. Whatever your investing style, the Fool has a newsletter for you.

Fool contributor Ryan Fuhrmann is long shares of Blockbuster but has no financial interest in any other company mentioned. The Fool has an ironclad disclosure policy. Feel free to email Ryan with feedback or to discuss any companies mentioned further.