She practiced corporate law, estate planning and criminal law in the Boston area before joining National Amusements. So he was only hearing Philippe’s view of what was going on at the company, what was going on at the board and what my views were,” Redstone says.

That required some steely discipline.

At the height of the conflict — when the patriarch was well into his 80s and still a Hollywood force — Mr. Redstone tried to buy out his daughter and publicly stated that she was not qualified to lead National Amusements, the parent company of Viacom and CBS, which he had inherited from his father and built into a giant. [42] Redstone recently joined the board and executive committee of "Our Time", a mass-membership organization that stands for the economic interests and political inclusion of young Americans aged 18–30. While the two women denied the allegations, they were removed from the home in 2015, and after a legal battle that revealed embarrassing details of Sumner’s sexual and other appetites, Shari took charge of his care and once again began visiting her father. The battle royale played out on a seemingly daily basis, and it had the kinds of twists and drama that even HBO’s Succession, clearly inspired in part by the Redstones (with a larger dash of Murdochs), couldn’t make up. Shari Ellin Redstone (born April 14, 1954) is an American media executive with a background in numerous aspects of the entertainment industry and related ventures. She currently serves as the chairman of ViacomCBS and president of National Amusements; she formerly served as the vice-chairman of CBS Corporation and Viacom. Executives past and present were lamenting the slow erosion of a culture built around her father’s oft-stated mantra, “Content is king.”, “The culture and the values that represented everything that Viacom was disappeared under Philippe,” she says. Ms. Redstone, 66, keeps a much lower profile. The succession issue simmered in the background during periods of estrangement between father and daughter.

“It wasn’t a long-range plan because I kept having short-range challenges,” she says.

And even at the end of that, I think when he understood what was going on in the company, he wasn’t ready to let Philippe go.”, They asked, “After everything you’ve been through, why shouldn’t every woman in this room be pessimistic?” Shari answered, “Because I’m here, because we can do this.”.

Within a year of that offer, Sumner Redstone’s life changed dramatically. “We have the best opportunity of any media company in the world to be number one going forward,” she recalls saying to the board at the time. They shared an iron will that helped Ms. Redstone to succeed her father. For this reason, deaths of high-profile individuals are almost always followed by speculation over the details of the often-hefty estates at stake. Redstone had complicated relationships with both of his children, son Brent and daughter Shari. Then came the #MeToo movement, which quickly ensnared CBS. The next day? Email me at dchmielewski [at] or follow me at @dawnc331. This post has been updated to correct a reference to Les Moonves' hiring in 1995. We have an opportunity and a responsibility to do what we can to have an impact.”. The death of a loved one will almost always illicit any repressed feelings and grudges held by his heirs to come front and center, which is usually a recipe for disaster as far as the disposition of that loved one’s estate goes. Former CBS CEO Les Moonves stepped down last year, setting the stage for the media company's merger with Viacom.

The tension erupted publicly in 2007, after Shari voted to block a $105 million charitable gift that her father wanted to make to hospital systems in Massachusetts and California.

[25] In 2016, Redstone, who at the time was vice chairperson of CBS and Viacom and president of National Amusements (the controlling shareholder of CBS and Viacom), gave the following statement on succession: "my father's Trust states his intention that I succeed him as (non-executive) Chairman at CBS and Viacom, and also names me as a Trustee after his death." They argue that the combined companies’ global reach and production capacity, massive film and TV library (140,000 television episodes, 3,600 film titles) and $13 billion in spending on content (750 series on order) put it on a more equal footing with rivals. It was complex. She lamented the damaged culture. “Viacom has no intention of launching a TV news channel, conservative or otherwise,” a Viacom rep said. The case was eventually settled. “I specifically decided that the board is important, has valuable perspective, and therefore I want to engage with them,” Bakish says, adding that Redstone “was a clear person that I thought it was important to build a relationship with based on transparency, trust and more.” Bakish’s management style and the gains at Viacom were rewarded: He will lead ViacomCBS as president and CEO once the merger is completed. Why Is 'Saturday Night Live' Suddenly Booking So Many Older Rock Bands? Integration of more content from across the ViacomCBS portfolio has already begun, with the goal of transforming All Access into a “super streamer” to take on competition from other media companies.

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