Wednesday, May 25, 2016

As the Sumner Turns

Today's twist in the Sumner Redstone soap opera involves Sumner choosing new board members who are loyal to him to replace the people who were removed the day before. Did the 93-year-old wheelchair-bound cutthroat-vulture executive make these appointments himself (as this article claims), despite having difficulty speaking? I sure hope that his daughter Shari is finding some way to "chronicle" the moment Sumner made these decisions, or Philippe Lauman's lawsuit will end this.

The quotes from the three new board members (who are all loyal to Shari Redstone) are hilarious because they seem to be pre-justifying their positions, knowing that people have a hard time believing Sumner did this himself...

“I am honored that Sumner has chosen me as a trustee and am convinced that he did so knowing that I would be loyal to him and would work to accomplish the objectives of the trust,” Jankowski said.

“I met Sumner in 1994 when I was an equity analyst covering the large-cap entertainment companies for Salomon Smith Barney,” Krutick said in a statement. “We had a close working relationship over a 10-year period as Sumner exuberantly shared his views on Viacom with investors from around the globe, and I have continued my long-time relationship with the Redstone family.”

“I am honored to be named as a fourth generation director and look forward to contributing to the continued success of the company my family has built over the last 80 years,” Ostheimer said.

The third one is Sumner's granddaughter.

It's hard for me to pick a good guy/bad guy in this story. Dauman's role has always seemed a little fishy to me, as I've written many times. But Sumner had many chances to put Shari in charge when he was still lucid, and clearly decided not to do it. This does look like a power grab by her. On the other hand, Sumner is one of the most unlikable humans to ever walk the maybe this is justice?

Like I said, no good guys.

But definitely a daily soap opera.