Friday, February 05, 2016

As the Sumner Turns

Another day, another chairmanship taken away from the aging ailing Sumner Redstone. From the RAMP Newsletter...

Less than 24 hours after the ailing Sumner Redstone resigned as Chairman of CBS Corporation and handed those reins over to CBS Pres. & CEO Les Moonves, the company announced that Redstone has also relinquished his Chairmanship of Viacom, Inc., passing the baton to his longtime colleague, Viacom President & CEO Philippe Dauman. Redstone now assumes the role of Viacom Chairman Emeritus, the same role he now inhabits at CBS. Whatever transpired behind closed doors in yesterday's Viacom Board meeting obviously overruled yesterday's highly publicized objections from Redstone's daughter, Non-Executive Vice Chair Shari Redstone, who, along with Dauman, are among the seven members of a trust that will eventually inherit Sumner Redstone's shares in National Amusements, the umbrella company through which he runs both CBS and Viacom. On Wednesday Shari commented, "It is my firm belief that whoever may succeed my father as chair at each company should be someone who is not a trustee of my father's trust or otherwise intertwined in Redstone family matters, but rather a leader with an independent voice." According to an account in Variety, while Sumner Redstone "voted" (Rick's note: my quotes) in favor of Dauman's elevation at yesterday's board meeting, Shari Redstone did not. She was the only dissenting member of the board, said a source familiar with the proceedings.

Looks like Sumner's daughter doesn't trust Dauman either, but then again, her feelings toward her father are "complicated" at best. Remember, Dauman was chosen to be her father's guardian instead of her--which is profoundly weird. I'm not prone to sympathy or empathy when it comes to Sumner Redstone because of his life-long ruthless and unrepetant greed...but I can't help it. I feel sorry for the old vegetable. It's a real-life "Rosebud" Citizen Kane ending, isn't it?