U.S. billionaire Sumner Redstone dies at 97

Sumner Redstone
Media magnate Sumner Redstone arrives at the 2011 Vanity Fair Oscar party in West Hollywood, California, U.S.

Viacom and CBS Chairman Emeritus Sumner Redstone, the media mogul who took his father’s movie theater chain and built it into an empire that included Paramount Pictures, CBS and MTV, has died at 97, ViacomCBS and National Amusements said on Wednesday.

Redstone, as executive chairman of both Viacom Inc and CBS Corp, had controlled the two companies through privately held National Amusements. But in his early 90s, the state of Redstone’s physical and mental health set off an avalanche of corporate maneuvering over his media holdings that resulted in him stepping down in 2016 as executive chairman of both companies.

CBS and Viacom were combined from 2000 to 2006, when Redstone separated them in an attempt to unleash the value of Viacom’s cable channels.

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