Aging media mogul, Sumner Redstone, looks set to step down from the perch of his entertainment empire with reports that Viacom’s board were meeting to discuss his replacement as chairman, less than 24 hours after he resigned from his position as executive chairman of CBS.
The CBS board announced yesterday (3 February) that the 92- year-old had resigned as chairman and would be replaced by the CBS chief executive Leslie Moonves.
Redstone’s position as chairman of Viacom – which includes the MTV, Nickelodeon and Comedy Central cable networks and Paramount Pictures film studios – was subsequently in doubt after the New York Times reported that its directors would meet today (4 February).
Carl Folta, a company spokesman, said that the Viacom board was scheduled to meet on Thursday, when it was expected that directors would discuss who would succeed Redstone.
Reports named Viacom chief executive, Philippe Dauman, as his likely successor however Redstone’s daughter, Shari Redstone, made clear that she did not want Dauman as a replacement.
She said that both companies needed an "independent voice" as chair who was not connected to the family’s personal matters or Sumner’s trust, thus excluding herself and Dauman.
Billionaire Redstone built his media empire from nothing and has been a dominating force in the industry. His competence has been called into question recently with a lawsuit from shareholders challenging his mental competence.