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Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman to Skip Sun Valley Media Conference

Viacom chief Philippe Dauman has opted not to attend Allen & Company’s Sun Valley media conference,  a spokesman for the company said Thursday.

The exclusive gathering of moguls and billionaires has been closely watched because Shari Redstone, who is battling with Dauman for control of Viacom, is one of the guests. She has been seen at the resort socializing with CBS chief Les Moonves and with Nicole Seligman, a former Sony executive and newly named board member.

Earlier in the week, Viacom said Dauman was still slated to attend, despite the potential for an awkward encounter with Shari Redstone. He is a regular at the annual gathering.

“Mr. Dauman had planned to join the Allen & Co. conference but is attending to pressing business matters,” a statement from Viacom reads.

Viacom, the company behind MTV, Paramount Pictures, Nickelodeon and Comedy Central, and CBS are both controlled by the Redstone family. Shari Redstone has remained closely aligned with Moonves, but has fallen out publicly with Dauman. She opposed Dauman’s elevation to the chairmanship of Viacom in February and is said to be unhappy with his stewardship of the conglomerate. Viacom’s cable ratings have declined in recent years and Paramount’s market share has shrunk while it has shaved its film slate.

As Sumner Redstone’s health has failed, Shari Redstone’s disagreements and squabbles with Dauman have played out in public and in a series of courtroom standoffs. She has pushed for his exit from the board of National Amusements, the company that controls the Redstone family’s stakes in Viacom and CBS, while he has countered that she is manipulating her 93-year-old father.

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