You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Redstone Vows to Act in ‘Best Interests of Shareholders’ as Viacom Board Members Brace for Ouster

UPDATED with comment from Sumner Redstone’s spokesman.

The battle for control of Viacom could soon shift to a Delaware court as nine of Viacom’s 11 board members are preparing a legal challenge in anticipation of being swept out by controlling shareholder Sumner Redstone, possibly as early as today.

Reports about the growing likelihood of what would be an extraordinary development for a publicly held company surfaced the same day that Redstone marks his 93rd birthday.

A spokesman for Redstone was noncommittal about the mogul’s intentions and would only say: “Sumner Redstone will make every decision with the same deliberation and consideration with which he removed Philippe Dauman and George Abrams as trustees, based on the best interests of shareholders.”

A rep for Viacom declined to comment on a report Friday morning by CNBC’s David Faber that board members, other than controlling shareholders Sumner Redstone and Shari Redstone, are bracing for the news that they are out as directors of the media giant.

That group would include Viacom chairman-CEO Dauman. Dauman is already suing Redstone for his removal last week from the board of Redstone holding company National Amusements and the trust that will inherit Redstone’s controlling stakes in Viacom and CBS Corp. after his death.

The preferred shares that give Sumner Redstone iron-clad control of Viacom allow him broad discretion in replacing board members at any time, according to Viacom’s bylaws. But the non-Redstone directors are prepared to challenge that move in court in Delaware, where the company is incorporated.

The removal of the board en masse would mark another extraordinary development in the war between the Redstone clan and Dauman. The animosity boiled over into public view last week when Dauman and fellow Viacom board member George Abrams were removed from the boards of National Amusements and the Redstone trust. Dauman has since accused Shari Redstone of manipulating her father, who has been in failing health for months.

Dauman’s removal as a board member would add to the sense of confusion around the management of Viacom. Employees of the parent company of Paramount Pictures, MTV Networks and other cable assets have been dismayed and distracted by the shocking turn of events in the past year and particularly the past two weeks.

More Biz

  • FILE - In this Jan. 12,

    How to Watch the Patriots vs. Chiefs - AFC Championship

    The conference championships are set to take place Sunday, Jan. 20 ahead of Feb. 3’s Super Bowl LIII, with the top two teams in each the AFC and NFC conferences going head to head. The second game, the New England Patriots against the Kansas City Chiefs, is set to begin at 6:40 p.m. ET at [...]

  • The line of scrimmage between the

    How to Watch Rams vs. Saints Online - NFC Championship

    The conference championships are set to take place Sunday, Jan. 20 ahead of Feb. 3’s Super Bowl LIII, with the top two teams in each the AFC and NFC conferences going head to head. The first game, the Los Angeles Rams against the New Orleans Saints, is set to begin at 3:05 p.m. ET at [...]

  • MAGA Teens Taunting Native American Elder

    MAGA Hat-Wearing Teens Harassing Native American Elder Spark Condemnation From Hollywood

    The Internet erupted in outrage Saturday after a video of young men wearing MAGA hats and attempting to intimidate a Native American man at the Indigenous Peoples March in Washington D.C. went viral. The march is taking place amid the government shutdown, which is nearing the one-month mark and has interfered with many Native Americans’ [...]

  • Leonard Klady Dead: Film Journalist Was

    Leonard Klady, Veteran Film Journalist, Dies at 67

    Leonard “Len” Klady, a former Variety reporter and critic who most recently worked for Movie City News and Screen International, has died. His wife, Beverly Walker, said he had been diagnosed with cancer in November.  Klady was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba and graduated from the University of Manitoba. He was a founding member of the [...]

  • Jordan Feldstein

    Roc Nation Seeks $11 Million From Insurer in Jordan Feldstein's Death

    Roc Nation filed a federal lawsuit Friday seeking $11 million from its insurance carrier following the death of Maroon 5 manager Jordan Feldstein. Roc Nation, a joint venture of Jay-Z and Live Nation Entertainment, partnered with Feldstein’s Career Artist Management in 2016. At the time, Roc Nation says it took out a “key man” life [...]

  • Walt Disney HQ LA

    Disney Unveils Financial Data for DTC Unit, Sets April 11 for Investor Presentation

    Disney has rejiggered its business segments for earnings reporting to make room for the new unit housing its global streaming operations. Disney on Friday released restated earnings for fiscal 2018, 2017 and 2016 to give investors and financial analysts better visibility into its spending on the launch of the Disney Plus, ESPN Plus and other [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content