This is just an industry thing, but the other shoe finally dropped at Paramount today when it was announced that Rob Friedman is leaving his job as Paramount’s COO and vice chairman “to pursue other interests,” which basically means he’s been shown the door. The reason, I’m told, is because Tom Freston, the Viacom president and COO who hired Brad Grey as Parammount’s chairman and CEO and who basically calls the shots, has a “history” with Freidman from the era when he ran the Viacom-owned MTV Networks. “When Freston was running MTV and he was trying to get stuff done under Sherry Lansing,” a studio source says, “the two obstreperous forces were Friedman and Jonathan Dolgen. When Freston took over [Paramount] it was just a matter of when Friedman would go…there was no way he could have stayed on.” Friedman is a notorious hardballer who created the extremely defensive (as far as the media was always concerned) garrison- state mentality at Paramount. He fostered that attitude at Warner Bros. when he was running things there also. But he’s always been straight and upfront with me. For what it’s worth and as far as it goes, I think he’s a relatively okay guy. He should go to Tuscany and chill out before taking the next job.