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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

VIACOM up for sale?

Well-informed speculation by Peter Lauria in the New York Post has it that mega-media-mogul Sumner Redstone, 85, may be forced to sell Viacom.

Viacom, no less, home of MTV, Nickelodeon, and Paramount Studios.

Another option is to sell off bits of CBS, such as a few radio stations, or publisher Simon & Schuster.

It's the credit crisis, of course. "Sumner needs more money," confided one of Lauria's sources. Apparently this simple statement is a textbook example of gross understatement -- according to a second source, Sumner Redstone is so deeply into hock with the banks that hold his collateral that sale of bits of the two huge empires may not solve the problem. Worst case scenario is to sell off all of CBS and/or Viacom.

However, it is not a sure thing, Redstone being a shrewd and seasoned negotiator.

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