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Les Moonves Getting Ready for Post-Redstone

The 91 year old Redstone currently owns 80% of National Amusements Inc., which controls both CBS and Viacom.


Leslie Moonves,   President and Chief Executive Officer,   CBS Corporation

Is Les Moonves planning on taking over CBS? Apparently the company’s longtime leader is concerned over what will happen to it after Viacom Chief Sumner Redstone passes away.

The New York Post has reported that the 65 year old son of a New York Jewish family is looking for investors to support just such a takeover bid.

The paper cites a source as saying that, “[Moonves] has been talking to a few banks and private equity firms about buying CBS.”

The 91 year old Redstone currently owns 80% of National Amusements Inc., which controls both CBS and Viacom.

CBS was previously owned by Viacom, but was once again spun off as an independent company. After Redstone, most speculate that Viacom would re-acquire all of CBS under its anticipated new leader Philippe Dauman.

“There’s no way Philippe Dauman and Leslie Moonves are going to work in the same shop. They have totally difference personalities and skill-sets and mind-sets. Unless it’s forced on him, Les wouldn’t want to work for Philippe or vice versa, ” GAMCO’s Mario Gabelli, who holds sizable stakes in both firms, told the Post.

But such talk may be premature as it is not clear what will happen once Redstone is gone. For example, his 61 year old daughter Shari might take over control of National Amusements Inc.

Even if Dauman runs the show it is not clear what will be done with CBS.

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