Viacom (NYSE:VIA) is shedding its Famous Music publishing unit, making a little cash and ridding itself of a business segment that didn't really gel with the rest of its media strategy.

According to news reports, Viacom is selling Famous Music for about $370 million to Sony/ATV, which is co-owned by none other than Sony (NYSE:SNE) and trusts formed by Michael Jackson. (The Wall Street Journal reported that the "people familiar with the situation" have said that Viacom's attempts to get $400 million for it led bidders to balk.)

This has been a long-rumored development; there was already conjecture that Viacom might sell Famous Music to Sony/ATV for somewhere in the neighborhood of $300 million. Other possible bidders included Warner Music (NYSE:WMG) and Vivendi's (NYSE:V) Universal Music Group, although Sony/ATV had one interesting element that seemed to make it a front runner -- its recent hire of Martin Bandier (formerly of EMI) emphasized the idea that Sony/ATV was planning to grow by strategic acquisition.

This seems like a winning idea for both entities. After all, Viacom shed some of its slower-growth media properties when it parted ways with now-separate CBS (NYSE:CBS). Although Famous Music did focus on tunes from movies and TV shows (it came under Viacom's wing through Paramount Pictures), it still makes sense for Viacom to focus on its strengths and planned growth areas in content.

Shareholders are probably also pleased that Viacom has announced a $4 billion stock-buyback initiative, as well. It comes on the heels of a previous plan to buy back $3 billion of its shares, which it has nearly completed.

Although Viacom is definitely getting into some new and interesting lines in the realm of entertainment content (for example, its recent moves to acquire some video game-related entities like Xfire and Atom Entertainment), having a piece of the business hanging around that isn't an integral part of its long-term, more forward-looking goals doesn't really make sense. Given the fact that focus is often a strength, shareholders should be glad Viacom is willing to shed businesses that aren't part of its overall strategy.

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Alyce Lomax does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned.