NY Times: Sumner Redstone Denies A Sale
December 27, 2005 at 6:25 AM (PT)
One of the big business events taking place on JANUARY 3rd, 2006 is the split of VIACOM into two freestanding units. VIACOM, including PARAMOUNT and the cable networks like MTV and NICKELODEON, will be run by TOM FRESTON, while LES MOONVES will run CBS which comprises the CBS network of TV and radio stations, SIMON & SCHUSTER, and an outdoor advertising business.
In a NEW YORK TIMES interview (12/26), SUMNER REDSTONE, who remains Chairman of both VIACOM and CBS, denies either or both units are for sale: "I have no intention of selling. I happen to like both companies, not just TOM's company. I happen to like LES' company."
Daughter SHARI REDSTONE, who serves on the board of both and will one day succeed her father, added, "No, this is not a precursor to selling the businesses. They are two different companies, and they have two very different visions. This was done to maximize the value, and we are going to do it. There is no intent to sell this. That is absurd."