Folta worked at Viacom for more than two decades, where he was seen as a key ally of media mogul Sumner Redstone and former Chairman Philippe Dauman. Folta was pushed out of the company last fall after Dauman lost a brutal corporate standoff that put Shari Redstone’s, Sumner’s daughter, firmly in control. He has deep ties to the business reporting community.
“Carl’s extraordinary knowledge, expertise and relationships throughout the corporate community are very additive to our own, and will reinforce our firm’s position at the forefront of strategic communications for global and U.S. companies,” said Tom Johnson, chief executive officer of Abernathy MacGregor.
Abernathy MacGregor works with a number of major public companies, providing messaging assistance and crisis management advice. At Viacom, Folta oversaw public relations for its television brands and its film studio, Paramount Pictures.
Folta also was heavily involved in the company’s charitable efforts — he helped lead the KNOW HIV/Aids campaign, a Peabody and Emmy Award-winning public education partnership with the Kaiser Family Foundation, which launched in 2003. In addition, Folta oversaw Viacom’s partnership with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation on Get Schooled, a public education reform charity.
Folta joined Viacom in April 1994 from Paramount Communications, where he had been since 1984. He began his career at Ruder & Finn, an independent public relations firm, in 1979.