Spokesman sez sked change allows mogul to join gathering

Viacom chairman Sumner Redstone will attend the company’s annual meeting next week after all.

On Thursday a rep for the 88-year-old mogul confirmed that he would not make the shareholders meeting at Viacom’s Gotham headquarters on March 8 because he had an unavoidable conflicting commitment and would address the gathering via videotaped presentation. By Friday afternoon, Viacom reversed course and said that its topper would attend.

“Mr. Redstone very much wanted to attend the Viacom annual meeting,” a Viacom spokesman said. “He was able to change his commitment and will participate in person at the meeting.”

Redstone lives in Los Angeles. On Thursday, the spokesman stressed that Redstone’s absence was unrelated to his health, the state of which has been a subject of speculation by industry players and Wall Streeters. Redstone rarely meets with investors at his home as he once did, said one fund manager, although he continues to introduce the earnings conference calls for Viacom and sister company CBS. Redstone controls both through his family holding company National Amusements.

Redstone, with his grandson Brandon, attended the Academy Awards on Sunday. He’ll be on hand at the end of the month for his Hollywood Walk of Fame star ceremony.

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