It must be a tough day in the Viacom PR department, after the company’s chairman Sumner Redstone left a long voice-mail to Daily Beast media reporter Peter Lauria basically offering him a bribe to give up a source for a story he wrote about a Viacom scandal.
In a nutshell, the story revealed that Redstone’s pushing of an MTV reality show for girl group the “Electric Barbarellas,” could lead to MTV CEO Judy McGrath leaving the company due to objections.
Redstone’s voicemail reads like a call from the mafia. Here’s an excerpt:
You may be reluctant, but we have to have the name of the person who gave you that story. We’re not going to kill him. We just want to talk to him. We’re not going to fire him. We just want to talk to him. You will be thoroughly protected. We’re not going to hurt this guy. We just want to sit him down and find out why he did what he did. You will not in any way be revealed. You will be well-rewarded and well-protected.
Not surprisingly, Viacom PR is distancing themselves from their 87-year-old billionaire chairman, saying they’re not part of any investigation to find the source.