The number of vultures circling the 92 year old Sumner Redstone who owns both CBS and Viacom has been reduced by One. The head of CBS, Leslie Moonves, has announced that he is no longer looking to acquire that company.
During an appearance at the Code Conference in Rancho Palos Verdes this week the CBS CEO said, “The board of directors will decide the fate of this company. I would like to buy CBS. I’m not going to.”
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Moonves, the 65 year old son of a New York Jewish family, was reportedly looking for investors to support a takeover of CBS after Redstone’s expected departure. Redstone currently owns 80% of National Amusements Inc., which controls both CBS and Viacom. Because of his age people expect that soon he will either give up his hold on his empire or die.
Moonves also shot down rumors that Viacom and CBS would once again merge into one company saying, “They don’t want to be reunited with us, and we don’t want to be reunited with them.”
On Chelsea Handler jumping to the internet from traditional television he said, “For every Chelsea Handler that doesn’t want to be on network TV I have Stephen Colbert. I think I won.” Chandler previously had a show on Viacom’s Comedy Central and Colbert will be the new host of CBS’ Late Show.
Moonves also dished on CBS possibly joining in Apple’s new TV service. “Apple TV is trying to change the universe, as did Sling, as is Sony, ” he said.
“I think the age of the 200 channel universe is slowly dying. The good news for us, is any one of those groups will need CBS. We have the NFL, which is must have television. Any of those bundles we will be a part of that and we should get a better proportion of the share of that universe than we currently do on cable.”