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Family Feud At Viacom

The father-daughter family feud over media giant Viacom. Inside the Redstone family’s media battle royale and its consequences. Plus, President Obama names his Supreme Court nomination pick.

In this file photo, the Viacom logo adorns the mass media company's headquarters, Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2015, in New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

In this file photo, the Viacom logo adorns the mass media company’s headquarters, Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2015, in New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

Behind a huge swath of American media stands one fractured family.  Behind CBS News and “60 Minutes” and “The Good Wife” and “The Big Bang Theory.” Behind Viacom – MTV and “The Daily Show” and BET and Paramount. The Redstone family patriarch Sumner Redstone is 92 – a “living ghost” says one lawsuit. It’s been a battle royale for the future. This hour On Point, family feud over an American media giant.  Plus: Our first look at President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee.

— Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Meg James, corporate media reporter for the Los Angles Times, covering the business of television and advertising. (@MegJamesLAT)

Lucas Shaw, media reporter for Bloomberg Business. (@Lucas_Shaw)

From Tom’s Reading List

New York Times: Shari Redstone Prepares for Battle to Control a Media Empire –“Mr. Redstone controls Viacom and CBS through National Amusements, a private theater chain started by his father, which holds about 80 percent of the voting stock in the two companies. After Mr. Redstone dies, his stake in National Amusements will go to a trust created to benefit his five grandchildren. The trust wields great power. It could, for instance, endorse the current leadership, install a new board and executive team or even sell the companies. Ms. Redstone is one of the seven voting members of that trust.”

Los Angeles Times: Judge allows Sumner Redstone competency case to proceed — “Redstone is the controlling shareholder of CBS Corp. and Viacom Inc. His former companion, Herzer, was in charge of Redstone’s household affairs, including overseeing his healthcare regimen until she was abruptly removed from his mansion in Beverly Park in October and removed from his will. At that time, Redstone designated his lieutenant, Viacom Chief Executive Philippe Dauman, as his healthcare proxy.”

Bloomberg BusinessweekThe Bizarre Money Triangle at the Top of Viacom — “The Redstone succession saga has been unfolding for decades. Questions about his health have come up at least since the 1990s, and his response has always been a variation on how he plans to live forever. This latest, if not final, chapter began on the morning of Nov. 13, 2014, when Redstone joined a routine conference call with the analysts who cover the company. At the start of the proceedings, he wished everyone good morning. His words were faint, slurred, barely audible. He sounded ill.”

Obama Picks SCOTUS Nominee

Randy Barnett, professor at Georgetown Law School and director of the Georgetown Center for the Constitution. Senior fellow at the Cato Institute. Author of the upcoming book, “Our Republican Constitution: Securing the Liberty and Sovereignty of We The People.” (@RandyEBarnett)

Jeffrey Rosen, professor at George Washington University Law School. Contributing editor at the Atlantic. President and CEO of the National Constitution Center. (@RosenJeffrey)

NPR News: Merrick Garland Is Named As President Obama’s Supreme Court Nominee — ” Federal appeals court judge Merrick Brian Garland is President Obama’s pick to fill the Supreme Court seat left vacant by the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. The president officially named Garland as a Supreme Court nominee as they stood before the media and a large gathering of attendees in the Rose Garden at the White House Wednesday.”

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