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Report: Moonves May Become CBS Chairman - Broadcasting & Cable

Report: Moonves May Become CBS Chairman

Deal with Shari Redstone could stabilize TV company’s management
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Les Moonves has made a deal with Shari Redstone that would also give the CBS CEO the chairman’s post after Sumner Redstone’s death, according to a Bloomberg Business report.

The future of the 92-year-old Redstone’s holdings have been under scrutiny because of legal proceedings in Los Angeles brought by a former live-in companion who claims the mogul is not competent to make health care or business decisions.

Shari Redstone, once largely estranged from her father, owns a large stake in his National Amusements, the company that owns 80% stakes in CBS and Viacom. According to a recent report in the Wall Street Journal, she turned down a $1 billion offer from her father to buy her stake in National Amusements, and has become closer with him since two other women moved out of his house.

The new Bloomberg report says Shari Redstone, who is one of the trustees of the trust that will control National Amusements after Sumner Redstone dies and would become its chairman, has made an agreement with Moonves that will keep him with the company.

Moonves has a clause in his employment contract that lets him leave and be paid millions in severance if he isn't named chairman after Sumner Redstone’s death.

Bloomberg says Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman, who has a similar clause in his contract, does not have an agreement with Shari Redstone. Dauman is also a trustee of the National Amusements trust.

On Monday, a court ruled against forcing Sumner Redstone to take a medical examination as part of a suit brought by Manuela Herzer, one of Redstone’s former live-in companions, after she was evicted from his home.

The judge said that Herzer’s lawyers might depose Dauman, but that the questions would be limited to medical care.

"Nobody, including Redstone, who has achieved what he has in life, deserves, through no fault of his own, to have to then suffer the indignity at his great age of being cast in an unfavorable light, against his will, when he may be not at his finest hour in this final chapter," Cowan wrote in his ruling. "Let him live in his home in peace."

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