Atty Dad, Atty Daughter Fight for Viacom
Posted Jul 30, 2007 2:28 PM CST
By Martha Neil
Corrected: Recently, 84-year-old Sumner Redstone has won or settled lawsuits with several relatives concerning the $50 billion Viacom Inc. media empire he was instrumental in creating. But now he may well be facing his toughest opponent yet--his 53-year-old daughter, Shari Redstone.
Until lately her father's heir-apparent and a 20 percent shareholder in the $8 billion enterprise that gives Sumner Redstone control of Viacom, Shari Redstone, like him (and like her brother) is an attorney. She is also renowned for the business acumen she has demonstrated in more than a dozen years working for Viacom and related entities. That may, in fact, be part of the problem, notes the Los Angeles Times in a lengthy feature story today about the ongoing father-daughter battle: "People who know him say he can be a tyrant and has a reputation for ousting top managers who threaten his power," the article states.
Now, with a Wednesday meeting of Viacom's board in New York City fast-approaching, father and daughter reportedly aren't on speaking terms, and Shari Redstone is considering following in her brothers' footsteps and resorting to the courts. But until now she has been notably close to her dad, the Times writes, and the current feud jeopardizes something she has always craved perhaps more than control of the company: "the affection of her father."
(Originally posted at 1:28 p.m. on Monday.)