(Bloomberg) -- Sumner Redstone and his daughter Shari, along with their lieutenants, have fought for years over one of the nation’s biggest media empires.
The elder Redstone, who ran the family’s National Amusements theater chain, began investing in media stocks in the 1970s. In 1987, he gained control of Viacom Inc., formerly part of CBS. In 1993, after a six-month bidding war, he acquired Paramount Communications, owner of the famed Hollywood studio.
Here’s a quick look at some of the key moments in that saga since then.
Sumner Redstone buys CBS for about $48 billion in cash, stock and debt, the largest-ever purchase of a media company at the time. He merges it with another family holding, Viacom, the parent company of MTV and Nickelodeon.
Viacom splits in two, spinning off CBS and its broadcast operations, seeking a higher valuation for Viacom and its faster-growing cable TV channels. Ultimately, CBS proved to be the better investment.
Redstone fires Viacom CEO Tom Freston following a sharp decline in the shares after its split with CBS and his failure to grab MySpace in a bidding fight with Rupert Murdoch. Philippe Dauman, a longtime Redstone protege, takes over.
A succession battle at the family’s National Amusements holding company goes public. Sumner Redstone blasts his daughter Shari in the press and says he’s offered to buy her out of the company.
An article in Vanity Fair raises questions about Redstone’s declining physical and mental health, along with the role played by two women -- his girlfriend Sydney Holland and a former girlfriend, Manuela Herzer.
Former girlfriend Herzer sues Sumner Redstone, seeking to be reinstated as his health-care guardian and putting a spotlight on the nonagenarian’s diminished mental capacity. Her lawyers say he wasn’t competent when he replaced her, citing an obsession with steak and daily sex, among other things.
The aging Redstone steps down as chairman of CBS and Viacom.
Redstone’s longtime deputy, Dauman, resigns as CEO of Viacom after a public clash with the family over his plan to sell a stake in Paramount Pictures. Two months earlier, the Redstones removed five Viacom directors.
The Redstone family formally proposes recombining CBS and Viacom, a decade after they were split. Radar Online releases salacious voice-mail recordings of Sumner Redstone discussing possible sexual exploits with a former girlfriend.
Shari Redstone withdraws her proposed merger of CBS and Viacom after CBS Chief Les Moonves demands control over the family’s voting stock as a condition of the deal and balks at paying a premium for Viacom.
Against the backdrop of several big media mergers, Shari Redstone still wants the companies to combine, people with knowledge of the matter say. A month later, both companies form special committees to evaluate a possible deal.
CBS sues National Amusements, accusing Shari Redstone of trying to orchestrate a Viacom merger on terms unfavorable to CBS and seeking to wrest control of the broadcaster from the family
Leslie Moonves, the longtime CEO of CBS, faces accusations of sexual misconduct, one of a number of high-profile executives in media and entertainment who allegedly used their positions to demand sexual favors.
Moonves steps down and six new board members are appointed. In settlement of litigation with CBS, the Redstones agree not to initiate a merger with Viacom for two years.
With Moonves gone, CBS again prepares for a possible merger with Viacom.
CBS and Viacom announce a merger creating a $30 billion media giant, with Viacom CEO Bob Bakish heading the combined company and Shari Redstone as chair.
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