At Viacom, Now Comes the Hard Part

August 20, 2016 12:19 AM

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At Viacom, Now Comes the Hard Part

In the summer of 1987, Sumner M. Redstone wrested control of Viacom in a hostile corporate takeover that left scorched relationships with the company’s management. Still bitter, executives sent Thomas E. Dooley, Viacom’s 30-year-old treasurer, to greet Mr. Redstone when he visited the Viacom office, the new boss wearing a plaid jacket bought on his way, the Filene’s Basement price tag still visible.

Nearly three decades later, Mr. Redstone, with his daughter, Shari Redstone, at his side, has won yet another caustic fight for control of Viacom and the future of his $40 billion media empire. The battle has ruined relationships with some of Mr. Redstone’s longest confidants, exposed family feuds a...

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