When Tom Freston was fired from Viacom, Hollywood insiders figured the move anointed CBS boss Les Moonves as Sumner Redstone’s favourite.
Well, if he was, he’s likely not to be anymore. Since Viacom and CBS were split (ironically to goose the stock prices), CBS shares have fallen 80% — more than any other big media giant. And more important, his boss’s personal fortune has virtually evaporated.
As Redstone’s fortune dwindles, his trigger finger is likely to get itchy again. He’s dumped Tom Cruise, Tom Freston and his most recent wife, the former Paula Fortunato. And when Wall Street fell out of love with Mel Karmazin, the former chief of Viacom soon found himself kicked to the curb.
Now, with history and the stock price working against Moonves, his only salvation may be that the size of his golden parachute could be too much for Redstone to swallow.
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