Sumner solstice: Viacom stock struggles, Redstone juggles

Newsweek offers a wide-ranging and occassionally amusing interview with Viacom‘s supreme commander, Sumner Redstone, who addresses everything under the sun son, including being sued by his; the rivalry between MTV Viacom’s Tom Freston and CBS Viacoms’ Les Moonves, and, yes, The Pelican. whitepel.gif
(“I have read The New York Times, and I still say I saw nothing in it that would make me change my opinion [of Brad Grey]”)

In some respects, this sort of folksy, “candid” chat reminds us of a Sports Illustrated interview with the reticent Evel Knievel from 1968. Interviewed about what it was like to be in a coma for 29 days after he’d shattered his pelvis, Knievel replied: “How the f-ck should I know? I was in a coma.

By the same token, a line of inquiry about plans to have Shari Redstone succeed him at Viacom meets with a similarly blunt reply:

NEWSWEEK: What’s the reaction to her internally at the companies? Are there misgivings?

REDSTONE: Do you think they’d tell me? Originally, I think there were a lot of misgivings. But now, from the best I can see, she’s very well liked within the companies – as is my wife. I have two women who are well liked at the companies.

Clearly, Viacom’s stock is ready to take off.