Sumner Redstone is the man behind Viacom, a company that may not be immediately recognizable by name, but whose creations have infiltrated the pop culture psyche of America considerably through MTV, VH1 and Nickelodeon.
Sumner Redstone – From Distribution to Syndication…
Sumner Redstone began by studying at Harvard, entering the army and then returning to his alma mater to obtain a law degree.
He also worked in the government before eventually joining his family business, National Amusements. Although distribution was the focus of the business, he knew that content would be instrumental in driving success and profits for the company in the long run. With this in mind, he invested in Paramount Pictures, Columbia Pictures and other major film companies in the United States at that
Redstone saw the potential in Viacom International, a spin-off of the American television network classic, CBS. He saw that the network had been used in syndicating television shows and knew that if he made several key acquisitions, he could be very successful in this arena. And that’s what he did.
After some time, Sumner Redstone became even determined to acquire more assets under the helm of Viacom. He bought out Paramount Pictures and Blockbuster Entertainment in the succeeding years.
He also purchased Dreamworks SKG. Although Dreamworks Animation was not part of the deal, Paramount Pictures was still responsible for the distribution of the films made and produced by Dreamworks Animation.
From its small employee base of seven thousand, Viacom has grown exponentially and now has eighty-three thousand employees working for it. Aside from broadcast and cable television networks, Viacom also has pay television, radio, outdoor advertising and syndication as part of its massive media conglomerate.
The Sumner Redstone Quick Bio
Full Name: Sumner Murray Redstone
Birth Date: May 27, 1923
Birth Place: Massachusetts
Industry: Entertainment/Broadcast Media
Key success traits: fearless, strategic and quick-thinking
Sumner Redstone is number 63 on the list of the 100 richest people in the world that is compiled annually by Forbes Magazine. This business leader made a controversial move when he ended the company’s contract with Hollywood star Tom Cruise after Mission Impossible 3 flopped at the box office.