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Posts Tagged ‘Sumner Redstone’

The Morning Ticker: More Moonves, Walters/Lohan, Piers’ Prez Pick

  • CBS CEO Les Moonves has inked a contract extension that will keep him at the Eye network through mid 2017. “I look forward to all Leslie will continue to do as the genius that he is.” said CBS chairman Sumner Redstone in a statement.
  • ABC’s Barbara Walters has scored an exclusive primetime sit down with troubled actress Lindsay Lohan. The interview will air on “20/20″ Friday, November 16, tied to the debut of Lohan’s Lifetime movie “Liz and Dick,” in which she plays Elizabeth Taylor.
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WSJ: News Corp. Wants To Split Company In Two

The Wall Street Journal (which, we should note is owned by News Corp.) reports that News Corp. is considering splitting itself in two. All of the company’s publishing assets, including its newspapers and HarperCollins book publishers, would be one company, with the company’s entertainment and TV assets like 20th Century Fox and Fox News Channel part of the other company.

A split of News Corp.’s businesses would be welcomed by outside investors who are more interested in News Corp.’s television and film assets than its slow-growing publishing businesses. The entertainment assets make up by far the bulk of the company, contributing three-quarters of the $25.34 billion in revenue for the first nine months of the fiscal year. Those assets accounted for roughly 90% of the operating profit in that period.

A split would be similar to what Viacom did in 2006, splitting CBS and Showtime into one company, and MTV Networks into another. Billionaire media mogul Sumner Redstone still controls both companies, so Rupert Murdoch and the Murdoch family would likely retain similar control over the new companies.

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CBS Chairman Redstone Does Not Like Leakers

CBS and Viacom chairman Sumner Redstone is back in the news today, for all the wrong reasons. Redstone left a long voicemail message on the answering machine of The Daily Beast’s Peter Lauria, asking for Lauria to give up a source on a story he wrote last month.

Redstone went so far as to offer an apparent bribe to Lauria:

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.

PRNewser has more on the PR angle of the story, including the fact that Viacom PR execs were apparently not aware of the billionaire’s friendly phone call.

CBS News is among the organizations that Redstone oversees, indirectly, of course.

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Les Moonves Contract Extended to 2015

CBS Corp. has announced that it’s extended CEO Les Moonves‘ contract to 2015. Sumner Redstone, Executive Chairman and Founder of CBS Corp, said, “Leslie is a superb executive who has led CBS to a position of unparalleled leadership in the industry.” Moonves’ salary will remain at its current level. Press release after the jump.

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Redstone, Thornburgh Depositions Allowed in Dan Rather Case Against CBS

Rather_9.21.jpgDuring a court hearing in Lower Manhattan this afternoon Judge Ira Gammerman allowed for the deposition of Viacom chairman Sumner Redstone and Dick Thornburgh, the former U.S. Attorney General who, with Louis Boccardi, headed up an independent panel looking into Rather’s discredited “60 Minutes II” report on George W. Bush’s National Guard service.

The judge agreed with CBS’ argument that the deposition from Redstone, who is 86, be limited to no more than half a day. The court also reserved decision on CBS’s motion to dismiss Rather’s fraud claim. A CBS spokesperson tells TVNewser, “This is the fourth attempt in two years by Mr. Rather’s lawyers to present a legal claim of fraud to the court. We are confident it, too, will be dismissed.”

While not setting a date, Judge Gammerman indicated he is moving the case toward trial.

“It is now obvious that this is far more than just a contract dispute,” says Rather’s attorney Gary Meyerhoff. “It goes to the integrity of the gathering and reporting of important national news.”

The lawyers are due back in court Dec. 22.

Two Years On, Dan Rather Case Back in Court Today

Dan Rather‘s case against CBS Corp. is back in court this afternoon. We’re told the 4pmET hearing is a status conference, so Judge Gammerman may not rule on anything. However, some of the issues still outstanding: the deposition from Viacom chairman Sumner Redstone and a motion to dismiss the case. The judge could also set a trial date.

Saturday marked two years since the case was filed.

Heyward, Moonves To Be Deposed in Rather Suit

Rather_7.17.jpgThe judge in Dan Rather‘s case against his former employer has ordered CBS to produce several witnesses for depositions including former CBS News president Andrew Heyward and CBS CEO Les Moonves.

The court ruled Wednesday that the depositions would go forward, with Heyward’s scheduled for the end of this month and Moonves’ expected in September.

The network’s chief counsel, Jim Quinn, tells TVNewser, “We’re looking forward to them testifying,” adding, “they will support our case that CBS did nothing wrong by Dan Rather. In fact, the opposite is true. They did everything right by him.”

Rather’s lawyer tells TVNewser, Viacom Chairman Sumner Redstone may also be deposed, but the court ruled the Heyward and Moonves depositions would be taken first, and that he would rule on CBS’s objection to Redstone testifying, later.

A status conference is set for October. The case could go to trial by November.