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.