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Sumner Redstone: Media mogul who built media empire including CBS, dies at 97


Sumner Redstone: Media mogul who built media empire including CBS, dies at 97

Sumner Redstone, who joined his family’s drive-in movie chain in the 1950s and used it to build a vast media empire that included CBS and Viacom, has died. He was 97. Under his watch, Viacom became one of the nation’s media titans, home to pay TV channels MTV and Comedy Central and movie studio Paramount…

Sumner Redstone, who joined his household’s drive-in film chain in the 1950s and used it to originate a essential media empire that incorporated CBS and Viacom, has died. He used to be 97.

Below his seek recordsdata from, Viacom grew to alter into one in every of the nation’s media titans, dwelling to pay TV channels MTV and Comedy Central and represent studio Paramount Photos. ViacomCBS Inc., which he led for many years, remembered Redstone for his “unparalleled ardour to purchase, his never-ending intellectual curiosity and his entire dedication to the corporate.”

Redstone constructed the corporate through aggressive acquisitions, however many headlines alongside with his title challenging on severed ties with larger halves, actors and executives. In diverse interviews, he talked about he would never die.

His tight-fisted grip on the Nationwide Amusements theater chain, which managed CBS Corp. and Viacom Inc. through balloting inventory, used to be passed to his daughter, Shari Redstone, who battled top executives to re-merge the 2 entities that ruin up in 2006.

The elder Redstone’s battles alongside with his have household had been as dramatic as his corporate maneuvers. Son Brent Redstone once sued his father to interrupt up his media empire _ then settled for a princely sum to quit his balloting shares.

A lanky man with a thick Boston accent, Redstone incessantly educated interviewers that “yelp material is king.” And he used to be lawful. No topic sagging TV rankings at Viacom, his mountainous shareholdings in Viacom and CBS led Forbes journal to estimate his procure worth at $4.6 billion.

Moreover being ruthless, Redstone used to be known for dogged possibility. In 1979, he survived a hearth at Boston’s Copley Plaza Resort by sharp a third-floor window ledge alongside with his lawful arm easy inner. He suffered third-level burns over half of his body, his lawful wrist used to be nearly severed, and he used to be educated he would never proceed again. But he at closing recovered, and used to be even in a region to play tennis by strapping the racket to his wrist.

“I intend to live without extinguish!” he educated Upstart Enterprise Journal in 2009.

Born in 1923 in Boston, Redstone used to be the oldest son of Michael and Belle Rothstein, who modified the household title to Redstone.

Redstone graduated first in his class from Boston Latin College in 1940 and carried out his education at Harvard in now now not up to three years. He used to be selected to work on an Navy intelligence group at some level of World Battle II that cracked Japan’s militia codes.

After three years in the Navy, he went to Harvard Law College and grew to alter into a accomplice at a Washington regulation agency. He gave it up to be part of his father’s drive-in film industry in 1954. Redstone grew it into a essential chain of multi-screen film homes.

The privately held company grew to alter into the wicked for his media empire, and the provide of all his household’s feuds.

He made a killing by shopping and selling in the shares of Hollywood studios and in 1987 _ the yr he became 64 _ supplied Viacom in a opposed takeover for $3.4 billion, most of it borrowed, ousting founder Ralph Baruch as chairman.

Critics talked about that a cable community in accordance to tune videos used to be doomed, however Redstone disagreed and rebuffed efforts from the corporate’s bankers to unload the fledgling MTV. As another, he expanded its attain, bringing it into Europe, Asia, Latin The United States and Russia.

Redstone subsequent went after Paramount Photos, a four-yr job that ended with a pleasant provide from Viacom for $10 billion in 1993. He scooped up the Blockbuster video condominium chain for its then-healthy cash walk, now now not sparkling then that videotape leases would crumple.

Viacom then swallowed CBS Corp. for $34.5 billion in September 1999, then a truly mighty media merger unless the AOL-Time Warner union came months later.

The deal introduced Redstone alongside with CBS chief Mel Karmazin, one other mighty-speaking government from humble origins. By June 2004, Karmazin used to be out, later to alter into head of Sirius Satellite tv for pc Radio Inc. CBS and Viacom had been ruin up into two public companies both under his management in 2006.

One other victim of Redstone’s upward thrust: Tom Cruise, whose sofa-leaping on “The Oprah Winfrey Level to” and embody of Scientology led Redstone to lower rapid a deal with Cruise and his manufacturing company.

“We don’t boom that any individual who effectuates ingenious suicide and costs the corporate income desires to be on the lot,” he educated The Wall Boulevard Journal in 2006. The 2 later patched things up sooner than the making of “Mission Inconceivable: Ghost Protocol.”

By 2010, Redstone’s hand in the industry grew to alter into unwelcome. He shepherded onto TV a screen that contains a scantily-clad lady community, the Electric Barbarellas, over protests from within. The day it aired, MTV Networks CEO Judy McGrath resigned. Then he used to be scandalized additional after reporter Peter Lauria made public a voicemail whereby Redstone supplied to bribe him to command the leaker of the epic about his meddling.

Redstone used to be married and divorced twice _ first to Phyllis Gloria Raphael, mother of his kids _ then to schoolteachers Paula Fortunato, a girl 39 years his junior.

In May perhaps perhaps just 2015, he launched a press open asserting that after he dies, his ownership stakes in CBS and Viacom, through Nationwide Amusements, might perhaps perhaps be managed by a seven-individual belief. The belief listed as trustees Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman, Shari Redstone, her son Tyler Korff and four attorneys. It is for the income of his five grandchildren.

Dauman and board member George Abrams had been kicked out of the belief in May perhaps perhaps just amid lawful squabbling.

In leisurely 2015, feeble accomplice Manuela Herzer sued Redstone after he kicked her out of his estate. The suit published a unfamiliar, secluded lifestyles in his Beverly Park mansion that incorporated frequent requires for intercourse and steak.

The suit alleged Redstone used to be hospitalized rather quite loads of conditions in 2014, leaving him with a feeding tube, catheter and excessive speech impediments. Herzer described him as a “dwelling ghost.” A mediate rejected the suit, however Herzer continued to pursue lawful stream in opposition to Shari Redstone, alleging felony racketeering.

Shari Redstone used to be locked in a lawful battle to merge CBS and Viacom. In May perhaps perhaps just 2018, she sued CBS for making an strive to strip her of management in a series of maneuvers orchestrated by CBS CEO Les Moonves, who adverse the merger since it might perhaps perchance perhaps perhaps be detrimental to non-Redstone CBS shareholders.

Her aim used to be reportedly to re-unite the companies after which promote them off or merge them with a third company.

Moonves used to be fired by the board after The Original Yorker reported on allegations that he assaulted diverse ladies folk; Moonves denied the experiences.

CBS and Viacom agreed to merge in 2019, undoing the ruin up Redstone performed 13 years earlier. Nationwide Amusements gave unanimous approval to the deal, with Redstone among the many administrators balloting in favor.

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