Sumner Redstone had his reasons to split his media empire before a decade and we all know what happened after that. He had two top executives, Leslie Moonves and Philippe Dauman, whom he wanted to keep happy, and above all, many successful businesses to go. This is the old story and since then, Leslie Moonves has been running CBS Corp successfully, which has become the most watched television network of the nation now.
The story of Viacom is much different from that of CBS though. The stocks of Viacom has fallen more than forty-five percent in the last years and chairman Philippe Dauman is on shaky grounds. The trajectories of both the companies are in opposite directions and there are speculations that the Redstone family may put Viacom and CBS together eventually. This will let them to handover the complete responsibility to Leslie Moonves, who wishes to run a big movie studio.
“It’s clear that Les Moonves knows what he is doing while the people running Viacom are stumbling around in the dark,” said Jonathan Taplin, a USC Annenberg School communications professor. Redstone recently ousted Dauman and some other Viacom board members from the Trust. It is also reported that the battle between Viacom and Redstone has intensified, and Dauman has sued claiming that Shari Redstone, daughter of Sumner Redstone, is manipulating the company.
“We think the ideal next CEO of Viacom should be Leslie Moonves of CBS,” said Eric Jackson, Managing Director of SpringOwl Asset Management. “It’s in the best interests of both Viacom and CBS shareholders to see a remerging of those two companies under the leadership of Moonves.” Leslie Moonves declined to comment on the news, but Redstone spokesperson hinted that there would be big changes in the company.
Data from Viacom shows that they have been successful this year and have signed deals with companies like Cox Communications and Dish Network. Both Cox and Dish Network are successful companies, and there are many subscribers for each. It is good to combine both these companies, but if the managements does not co-operate, then it will be a complete waste of resources.