LEGACIES OF CBS – REDSTONES, MOONVES. ALL THE MOVING PARTS, THE BLAIR RULES, I’m posting under Today’s Talking Topics blog, but, actually this topic has been talked about for some time. In fact, I wrote about the exploits of the Redstones in previous books, ALL THE MOVING PARTS and THE BLAIR RALL THE MOVING PARTS
In earlier times, Shari Redstone was battling with her father to succeed him as head of the media empire that includes CBS Corporation and Viacom, Inc. She was successful in that effort and now wants the two business entities, both under the control of National Amusements, to merge for more efficient organizational processes as well as being the best way to preserve her family’s legacy and wealth. It is of singular interest that what also prompts Leslie Moonves, CBS CEO, in his severe resistance to this move, is an interest in his legacy – the WSJ makes note of the fact that “he believes it’s a huge mistake and could tarnish his legacy late in his career.” One can see why Moonves might think it “a huge mistake” – without a doubt, it would mean combining the leadership positions of the two entities and might well be the cause for Moonves‘ release. Moonves is the consummate “Hollywood insider.” In his early days, he was talented in choosing stars and scripts which fueled his rise to head of Warner Bros TV. In 1994 he was tapped to undertake a turnaround of CBS and was named CEO in 2006. Thus, he does, indeed, have a vested interest in this gig. Thinking as Shari Redstone might, looking at ways of edging Moonves out seems like a viable option and replacing him with someone less invested. He does, after all, ultimately report to her – something that might also rankle with a long-time Hollywood-ite. Seems the height of arrogance to file suit against your boss to preserve a personal legacy. The legal battle, precipitated by Moonves’ filing suit against National Amusements to try to prevent the merger, has been dubbed, “corporate civil war” and dredges up memories of the Hewlett Packard board’s infighting back in the 2008/9 era. And, we all remember how that ended – with all those who were intent upon battling ousted.