Sumner Redstone is at it again.
After taking the media spotlight by firing Tom Cruise and terminating Tom Freston, there were reports that Redstone would stay in the shade for awhile.
But last week the feisty Viacom chairman popped up on “The Charlie Rose Show,” and placed the blame on Freston for blowing the MySpace deal. Freston’s lack of decisiveness allowed Rupert Murdoch to snap up MySpace for $580 million, and losing the deal was “a humiliating experience,” Redstone told the TV interviewer.
“MySpace was sitting there for $500 million and Tom didn’t take it,” Redstone said on the Rose show.
Freston, however, has related a different story.
According to the newly retired Viacom prexy, he had been pushing the MySpace deal but Viacom’s slow-moving mergers-and-acquisitions committee stalled the negotiation. He insists he was ready to make the deal, but that Redstone’s corporate bureaucrats let Murdoch steal the prize.
Redstone is now looking for other deals. Freston is deciding whether or not he wants another job.