|Barbara Walters Presents the 10 Most Fascinating People of 1999||2000 1999 - 2000||Actor||Interviewee||20007|
|Viacom received a multimillion-dollar settlement in a suit which charged that Time Warner cable systems were unduly favoring their own HBO over Viacom's Showtime|
|Finalized Viacom's acquisition of CBS (August)|
|Admitted to the bar in Massachusetts|
|Served on the US Court of appeals, 1st circuit and 9th circuit|
|Was assistant president of the Theater Owners of America|
|Served as a special assistant to the US Attorney General in Washington, DC|
|Worked for the Washington DC court of appeals and the Supreme Court|
|Became president and chief executive of National Amusements Inc. of Dedham, Massachusetts|
|Viacom purchased Black Entertainment Television (BET)|
|Acquired Blockbuster Entertainment|
|Acted as executive vice president of the Northeast Drive-In Theater Corporation|
|Worked as an instructor in law and labor management at the University of San Francisco|
|Was president of the Theater Owners of America|
|Barely survived a hotel fire in Boston; suffered extensive burns after being pushed out onto a ledge before being rescued|
|On August 22, 2006, Redstone announced that Paramount Pictures was ending its 14-year relationship with Cruise/Wagner Productions|
|Oversaw Viacom's $10 billion merger with Paramount|
|Was a partner in the Washington DC law firm of Ford, Bergson, Adams, Borkland and Redstone|
|Served to the rank of 1st Lieutenant in the U.S. Army during WWII|
|Accepted a visiting professorship from Brandeis University|
|Helped negotiate the syndication of the sitcom "Roseanne" (which Viacom distributes) for approximately $1.5 million per episode|
|Acted as chairman of the board of the National Association of Theater Owners (NATO)|
|Became chairman of the board of Viacom Inc.|
|Served as a professor at the Boston University Law School in 1982 and again in 1985-1986|
Redstone was born Sumner Murray Rothstein on May 27, 1923 in Boston, MA to Michael (Mickey) and Belle Rothstein. He was the older of two boys (his younger brother Edward became a banker). The boys' father Mickey was a liquor wholesaler, a nightclub owner and the owner of one of the first drive-in movie theaters in the USA. Sumner graduated at the top of his class at the celebrated Boston Latin School before attending Harvard College, where in less than three years, he received his B.A in 1943. Upon graduation, he was recruited into an elite United States Army intelligence unit, earning two commendations before leaving for Georgetown University Law School (he would eventually transfer to Harvard Law School, from which he received an LL.B degree). Redstone spent several years working as an attorney, first for the U.S. Department of Justice, and then his own private practice, before leaving the legal world behind to help run the family's movie theater management business. Although his brother Edward had been working for National Amusements for years, the oldest Rothstein boy was quickly given the reins.
While at National Amusements, he came to the conclusion that rather than distribution, "content is king," prompting him to invest in a number of production companies. Those early investments consisted largely of buying and selling stock. Redstone's purchase of CBS spin-off Viacom (through National Amusements), however, was much different. After initially investing in the company, Redstone decided it required a change in management and mounted a hostile takeover. In addition to owning Showtime, MTV and The Movie Channel networks, Viacom syndicated many shows, including many of those produced by CBS and Carsey-Werner.
Completed in 1987, the Viacom deal made Redstone a media baron. Only Rupert Murdoch had wider media holdings. Naturally, over the course of his career, Redstone received compensation commensurate with his great success, earning him a net worth of approximately eight billion dollars. Despite his vast wealth, Redstone's philanthropic efforts never threatened to outshine his professional acumen. He made substantial donations to burn centers and other burn-related charities, a move which was surely inspired by Redstone's near-death in a 1979 Boston hotel fire, which left him with third-degree burns over 45 percent of his body, requiring 60 hours of surgery. Redstone responded to criticisms of his recorded philanthropic efforts by pointing to his interest in keeping his donations private, including gifts to burn, AIDS and cancer-related charities (he was also a founding trustee of the American Cancer Society). He did, however, lecture frequently at universities.
After Viacom, other sometimes acrimonious acquisitions followed, including the 1993 purchase of Paramount Communications - a move preceded by a bitter fight against Barry Diller and John Malone. Already a television powerhouse, the purchase provided Redstone with a foothold in the actual movie-making business (outside of National Amusements, which continued to operate movie theaters, in addition to controlling the majority of Viacom).
Redstone's takeover of former Viacom parent CBS, however, went much more smoothly. Completed in 2000, it further cemented his company's place in the firmament of the entertainment industry. After the merger, Viacom owned wide swaths of the television landscape including two television networks (CBS and UPN), more than half a dozen cable outlets (among them MTV, Comedy Central and BET), and pay television networks Showtime and The Movie Channel. Radio powerhouse Infinity Broadcasting gave Viacom a sizeable chunk of that industry. Other holdings included film production (Paramount Pictures) and television production companies (Big Ticket Entertainment, King World Entertainment, Paramount Television and Spelling Entertainment), not to mention music publishing and outdoor advertising units. National Amusements' movie theater business continued to operate as well, but outside of Viacom's purview (as a privately held asset of the Redstone family). Redstone also made large investments in video game company Midway Games.
In 2005, however, Redstone announced that he and the Viacom board were considering splitting the recently-merged company into two divisions for increased profitability, with power shared between Leslie Moonves and Tom Freston, who served as co-Presidents and co-COOs of the larger entity. Before the year was out, the split had occurred, and soon afterwards, Redstone had stepped down as head of Viacom at the ripe old age of 83. The company did not fare well after his departure, prompting some to go so far as to suggest that Viacom become a private company.
The family business wrought some havoc on the already-troubled Redstone family. Although both of Redstone's children owned 1/6th of the controlling shares in National Amusements, Redstone designated his daughter Shari, Vice Chairwoman of Viacom's Board and National Amusements' President, as the recipient of his shares. Meanwhile, son Brent had no access to his share in the business, which resided in a non-income-bearing trust. Like many wealthy families run amuck, Brent filed lawsuits claiming that Shari was being favored and that he deserved access to his own shares.
|Paula Fortunato||Wife||married c. 2003|
|Manuela Herzer||Companion||dated c. mid-2000; no longer together|
|Christine Peters||Companion||born c. 1953; relationship ended May 2000|
|Michael Redstone||Father||changed family name from Rothstein to Redstone; founded National Amusements|
|Shari Redstone||Daughter||works as head of thetrical operations of National Ausements|
|Phyllis Redstone||Wife||married c. 1947; filed for divorce on September 14, 1999 citing adultery and cruelty and asking for $3 billion settlement (half of Redstone's estimated $6 billion net worth); had previously filed for divorce in 1984 and again on November 12, 1993; both times she withdrew the suit; divorced in 2002|
|Harvard Law School|
|Redstone received a Army Commendation Medal.|
|He was named one of ten outstanding young men by the Boston Chamber of Commerce (1958).|
|He was a recipient of the William J. German Human Relations Award from the Entertainment and Communications Division of the American Jewish Committee (1977).|
|Restone was named Communicator of the Year by B'nai B'rith Communications, Cinema Lodge (1980).|
|He is the recipient of a Silver Shingle Award for Distinguished Public Service, Boston University Law School (1985).|
|He was named Man of the Year by the entertainment industries division of UJA-Federation, New York (1988).|
|"I am constantly reminded of my age by the press, but ... I still have my marbles" --Redstone quoted in Vanity Fair, October 1995|
|"Viacom is me. I'm Viacom. That marriage is eternal, forever." --Redstone quoted in April 1999|
|On August 22, 2006, Paramount Pictures announced it was ending its 14-year relationship with Cruise/Wagner Productions. Redstone cited the economic damage to Tom Cruise's value as an actor and producer from his controversial public behavior and views. Cruise/Wagner Productions responded that Paramount's announcement was a face-saving move after the production company had successfully sought alternative financing from private equity firms.|
|Member, board of directors of the Boston Arts Festival|
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