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Posts Tagged ‘Sumner Redstone’

Did Viacom Chairman Give Plum PR Job To Unqualified Candidate?

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According to the Daily Beast’s Peter Lauria, Viacom chairman Sumner Redstone “forced” the Showtime network, which is part of Viacom, to put a “young, apparently unqualified brunette on the public company’s payroll.”

The employee in question is Rohini Singh [pictured in red], who sources speculated to Lauria only got a job because of her association with Redstone. A source told Lauria that Showtime CEO Matt Blank “basically” told Richard Licata, the network’s executive vice president for corporate communications, to “make her happy.”

So what is Singh doing at Showtime? According to Lauria’s sources, “only the most basic entry-level tasks like compiling clips and making phone calls.” Meanwhile, she is receiving a decent salary and also received a substantial amount of Viacom stock.

Are these kind of moves unheard of in the media and entertainment world? Many would argue that they’re not. Nonetheless, when Lauria reached Singh for comment, she seemed defensive, and only stated, “This is not my first job, but I can’t tell you where I worked before. I have to go now.”

It also serves as more fuel to the fire between Redstone and the media. Just last week Redstone left a voice-mail to Lauria in which he said he would be “well-rewarded and well-protected” if he gave up a source to one of his stories about him and another scandal at Viacom.

RELATED: Showtime Hires VP Corporate PR Johanna Fuentes

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Viacom CEO Tells Reporter To Give Up Source: ‘You Will Be Well-Rewarded and Well-Protected’

It must be a tough day in the Viacom PR department, after the company’s chairman Sumner Redstone left a long voice-mail to Daily Beast media reporter Peter Lauria basically offering him a bribe to give up a source for a story he wrote about a Viacom scandal.

In a nutshell, the story revealed that Redstone’s pushing of an MTV reality show for girl group the “Electric Barbarellas,” could lead to MTV CEO Judy McGrath leaving the company due to objections.

Redstone’s voicemail reads like a call from the mafia. Here’s an excerpt:

You may be reluctant, but we have to have the name of the person who gave you that story. We’re not going to kill him. We just want to talk to him. We’re not going to fire him. We just want to talk to him. You will be thoroughly protected. We’re not going to hurt this guy. We just want to sit him down and find out why he did what he did. You will not in any way be revealed. You will be well-rewarded and well-protected.

Not surprisingly, Viacom PR is distancing themselves from their 87-year-old billionaire chairman, saying they’re not part of any investigation to find the source.