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Posts Tagged ‘Sumner Redstone’

Viacom Having Issues — No Party, Fire Sale

Viacom domo Sumner Redstone hates to admit it, but he’s having some troubles with his flagship National Amusements Inc.redstone2.jpg

Not only is he canceling the Christmas party, but he’s also looking to sell some theaters to make up for National Amusements debt.

Next thing to go might be Paramount, which has had its own troubles lately.

Redstone Stands Firm: I Ain’t Selling CBS Or Viacom

Viacom major domo Sumner Redstone, responding to all the gossip about how much he’s struggling to keep his loans paid off, flat out told the Wall Street Journal: “Not a chance” that I’m sellin’5228461[1].jpg.

And he means his most lucrative properties: CBS network and Viacom Inc.

Unclear whether he’ll have to anyway. But Redstone, who stands firm on issues left and right, makes it clear he wants to retain control. And he doesn’t want to compromise parent company National Amusements, which is run by his daughter Shari Redstone.

Redstone ruled out selling any shares in either of the two companies he controls, even if negotiations with lenders about a debt restructuring turn sour, says the Journal.

Redstone sold $233 million of his family’s Viacom and CBS holdings earlier this month to avoid breaching the terms of a National Amusements loan. The holding company has since been in negotiations with its lenders about restructuring $1.6 billion of debt.

Sumner Redstone: From Bad to Worse

Redstone-385_418110a.jpgSumner Redstone is arguably having a worse month than John McCain. First he was forced to sell off $233 million worth of CBS and Viacom shares earlier this month during Wall St.’s catastrophic week — a move which apparently caused an even further rift in the already tenuous relationship Redstone has with his daughter Shari. Then rumors began swirling this week that he may be forced to sell Viacom in its entirety in order to pay off the debt. Not surprisingly Redstone’s response to this was something like “Hell No!”

And now comes word that Redstone and his wife Paula Fortunato are divorcing. The two, who have been married for five years, are citing “irreconcilable differences” and say that the split is amicable. Fortunato, a former school teacher, is almost 40 years Redstone’s junior and is set receive an estimated $5 million in the settlement.

Cooking Up Media Deals With Rachael Ray, and a Murdoch Scion Sighting

SV2008w.jpgDan Cox, on special assignment for FishbowlLA, covering the 2008 Sun Valley Media Conference.

Ken Lowe, President and CEO of the Scripps company (formerly Scripps Howard) was morose at the bar in Sun Valley Lodge late last night. He was lamenting the foreboding loss of the printed written word in media. What better than to complain about the internet to a half-drunk blogger.

Lowe was keen however on discussing the mega-investment Scripps has in chef extraordinaire and rising media starlet Rachael Ray, who ironically was at the other end of the bar drinking up the joint with her agent, William Morris’s Jim Wiatt.

Wiatt had just left a table with deposed Viacom exec Tom Freston (who is here with a company called Firefly 3).

Luckily for the bar hoppers, Viacom chief Sumner Redstone was nowhere to be seen, otherwise fisticuffs at dawn.

In another corner Rupert Murdoch‘s kid James, former head of Sky TV, was mingling with journos, one of whom came back to our group explaining how young Murdoch had been roommates in college with Post managing editor Jesse Angelo. So the Post has a nice in with young Murdoch.

Forget that dad owns the paper.

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Breaking: Dan Rather Ruling: Let the Spin Begin!

041408_rather_web.jpgA judge has issued a ruling on CBS’s motion to dismiss Dan Rather’s $70 million lawsuit. In short, some aspects (and defendants) of the suit were thrown out, but the suit will proceed.

Sounds like, in essence, not a lot has changed — but that hasn’t stopped both sides from proclaiming victory:

“We are extremely happy with the results,” said James Quinn, the lawyer for the CBS defendants. “[The justice] has essentially thrown out the core allegations of the complaint with regard to the fraud. He dismissed all the claims against the individual defendants: Les Moonves, Sumner Redstone and Andrew Heyward. What’s left in the case is a garden-variety contract dispute.”

Dan Rather’s side (surprise!) has a different take:

Justice Gammerman issued a decision today which leaves in place the entire essence of Mr. Rather’s lawsuit against CBS and Viacom, including both contract and tort claims. Although not every legal theory of the case survives, as a result of the decision, the Court has permitted discovery and a trial of all of the factual issues that form the basis of Mr. Rather’s lawsuit, including his $70 million claim for compensatory and punitive damages. The defendants’ statement that all that is left is a “garden variety contract dispute” is simply inaccurate.

WGA Strike 07: What You Need to Know

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So, is the picket line where the cool kids hang? Nina Bargiel walked the walk and got a history lesson for her pains.

Bryan Burrough writes about the school yard fight between Sumner Redstone and David Geffen in the December Vanity Fair. You can see the level of people the WGA has to battle.

Walking the Line really gets it:

Part of the problem the networks and especially studios are having is a direct result of relying on an old business model that is simply not responding to the marketplace and they do not know how to adapt. Most who’ve created a show know how this manifests itself in our small microcosmic case: they want close-ended episodes for “syndication” purposes. Even in light of successes like Desperate Housewives and Ugly Betty they refuse to believe their model is obsolete.

But the LAT readership seems clueless:
Does Oprah use non-union writers?
I feel a lot of these comments are the children of producers writing in from their dad’s compounds at Carbon Beach or Bel Air.
The writers on Telemundo and Univision don’t get health benefits or a pension.
It’s not my fault that you majored in English at Hampshire College and all you could do in Hollywood was write one episode of Gidget..

And finally, writers get some love. In support of the writer’s strike, The Roxy Theatre in West Hollywood is opening its legendary doors to all members of the Writers Guild of America.

CBS Has Eye For CNN

cbs_cnn_060407.jpgThere are only so many budding media mergers we can follow at this point, but it appears CBS chief Sumner Redstone is sweet on CNN, should Time Warner decide to sell.

Viva Variety:

CBS chairman Sumner Redstone and CEO Leslie Moonves reignited the prospect of a merger between CBS News and CNN at CBS’ annual meeting — and this time they’re talking about a full-blown acquisition of the cable news net. Serious talks on such a merger ended years ago.

At the meeting, Redstone told shareholders: “CNN would be a lot better off if CBS owned it.”

Not a chance, says Time Warner spokesman Ed Adler. “CNN is not for sale and is doing very well as part of Time Warner.”

  • CBS still pondering CNN pairing [Variety]
  • Jann Wenner Wishes He Sold Rolling Stone To MTV When He Had The Chance

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    Wenner [left] at the National Magazine Awards in May 2006

    As Rolling Stone preps its New Yorker-style DVD archive project and 40th anniversary issue, founder Jann Wenner has had some time to reflect on his professional regrets.

    AP [via Jossip]:

    There are few professional regrets. A Frank Sinatra interview was dangled in front of the magazine but probably never would have happened anyway. And Wenner could have become one of the richest men on the planet if he had accepted an offer years ago to sell the magazine to MTV in return for a 25 percent stake in the fledgling music cable channel. “I would never have had the wisdom or foresight to hang onto it and own more of (MTV parent) Viacom than (Viacom’s billionaire chairman) Sumner Redstone,” he said.

    That he counts John Mayer in the same class as Dylan and the Stones is even more shocking.

    RELATED:

  • Rolling Stone‘s 1000th Issue Bash: Jann, Eddie, Marilyn, Moby, Strokes
  • Daily Show Addresses Viacom-YouTube Suit



    Replete with Sumner Redstone and Google executive stick figures.

    Air America | Sumner Redstone | Graydon Carter | TMZ | Today | Reader’s Digest Raids Cond&eacute Nast | Bids Due For Dennis

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    • Why Graydon Carter: Wants a celebrity clubhouse on Waverly. [NYO]
    • Inside Air America’s: Money troubles. [Village Voice]
    • Reader’s Digest’s Mary Berner: Poaches Grimes from Condé Nast. [WWD]
    • TMZ: Coming to D.C. [WaPo]
    • Sumner Redstone: To take pay cut. [Bloomberg via LAT]
    • Today: Still on top without Katie. [Page Six]
    • Bids Due: For Dennis Publishing. [NYP]

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