Sumner Redstone: I Don't Just Fire People


Soon after Fortune broke a story about how Sumner Redstone was trying to oust his daughter Shari from the Viacom and CBS boards, Redstone confirmed the feud by sending a fax to Forbes ranting about how ungrateful his children were.  Then, perhaps unnerved by press reports portraying him as a crazy old man, Sumner tried to change the subject.  Specifically, he granted a long, lucid interview to CNBC’s Maria Bartiromo (herself recently the subject of scathing press reports).  Excerpts have now been published by BusinessWeek.

Some key Sumner points:

  • Succession is not an issue, because I will live forever.
  • I love Shari.  She loves me.
  • My wife Paula is not the real Viacom CEO and heir apparent.
  • Les Moonves (CBS CEO) is brilliant, and I agree with everything he does, including hiring Katie Couric.
  • Viacom and CBS are in awesome shape.

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