TopVet: Sumner Redstone, VIACOM

Sumner Redstone

If “content is king,” as Sumner Redstone is frequently quoted as saying, then he is the King of Content.

Mr. Redstone has made himself into one of the most powerful figures in the world of media and entertainment, transforming his family-owned movie theater business, National Amusements, Inc., into a media empire.

Mr. Redstone is Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Viacom, Inc., which National Amusements acquired in 1987. By dint of his perseverance and savvy, Viacom has become one of the world’s largest entertainment and media companies, a leader in the production, promotion, and distribution of entertainment, news, sports, and music.

Viacom’s properties include the CBS Network, MTV Networks, Black Entertainment Television, Showtime, Infinity Broadcasting, TDI Worldwide and Infinity Outdoor, Paramount Pictures, Paramount Television, Paramount Parks, UPN, Blockbuster Video, Simon & Schuster, and theatrical exhibition operations in North America and abroad. Included among its online businesses are the MTVi Group, the CBS Internet Group, Nickelodeon Online, and a half-interest in the Comedy Central cable channel.

Mr. Redstone has taken an active role in the affairs of the entertainment and communications industries, serving as chairman of the board of the National Association of Theater Owners (and currently as a member of its executive committee); president of the Theatre Owners of America, then the major trade association of motion picture exhibitors; advisory council member for the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Foundation; and board of trustees member for the Museum of Television and Radio.

He has given his time, talent, and energy to a slew of civic and community affairs endeavors, having served as chairman of the Jimmy Fund (the Children’s Cancer Research Foundation); member of the Corporation of the New England Medical Center; member of the Board of Overseers of the Dana-Faber Cancer Institute; founding trustee of the Foundation of the American Cancer Society; and member of the executive committee of the Will Rogers memorial Fund. He is also on the Board of Overseers of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and the executive board of the Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Greater Boston.

During the Second World War, Mr. Redstone served in the Military Intelligence Division. While an undergraduate at Harvard, he was selected by Japanese history professor Edwin Reischauer to join a special intelligence group whose mission was to break Japan’s high-level military and diplomatic codes. In recognition of his service, Mr. Redstone received two commendations and the Army Commendation Medal.


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