Celebs, industry stalwarts honor Viacom chairman

Heavyweight boxing champ Evander Holyfield, characters from “Rugrats” and “South Park,” New Yorker editor Tina Brown and CBS chairman Michael Jordan were among those honoring Viacom chairman Sumner Redstone Tuesday night at the Intl. Radio & Television Society’s annual Gold Medal Award dinner in Gotham.

Emceed by “Star Trek Voyager” star Kate Mulgrew, the evening also featured a speech from “Love Boat: The Next Wave” star Robert Urich, a videotaped greeting from Ted Turner and a “Pop-Up Video” guide for Redstone, who brought his family along for the occasion.

Speakers such as Brown highlighted Viacom’s comeback over the past year, while Holyfield — a star attraction on Viacom’s “Showtime” premium channel — told the showbiz audience at the Waldorf-Astoria that he and Redstone bore many similarities ranging from their past underdog status to the size of their bank accounts.

“We both have a lot of money,” Holyfield said.

In response, Redstone noted that “this is a wonderful time in the life of Viacom.” Indeed, Viacom’s stock price has almost doubled over the past six months, reflecting the success being enjoyed by Viacom’s various businesses.

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