Media mogul Sumner Redstone dies at 97

He is believed to have coined the phrase 'Content is King'

KOLKATA: The man who ruled over media for decades and is believed to have coined the famous cliche ‘Content is King’, Sumner Redstone, died on 11 August at the age of 97. The cause of his death was not mentioned.

The Harvard-educated media mogul is the pioneer of multiplex model in the 1960s and turned it into a multi-billion-dollar media empire. He started the trend of bringing movies into shopping malls as well as more than one screen at the same site. Following the success in theatres, he started investing in movie companies. 

Later in the mid-1980s, when he realised the rapidly increasing value of cable television, he went after Viacom. He bought Viacom for $3.4 billion in 1987 and later he acquired Paramount for more than $10 billion. He did not stop there. His quest for content led him to add CBS to the portfolio in 1999 in a deal valued at $37 billion. As he once said, “I’ve always wanted to win” was not a vague motivational talk as his acquisition of Viacom has mostly borrowed money, a risk very few could take.

The student of law, his knowledge often reflected throughout his life whenever there was a legal battle to expand or save his empire. Not only is his career in media colourful but he has also been a rockstar everywhere. He worked with an elite US Army unit that cracked Japanese codes during World War Two while he was a student at Harvard. After he earned his law course, he successfully pleaded a case before the US Supreme Court. 

Redstone always boasted that he never wanted to retire. But in the later years of his life, his health condition made investors, shareholders question if he was fit for the responsibilities anymore. In 2016, he stepped down as executive chairman of CBS. His adventurous ride in media was depicted by himself in one of the most spectacular business autobiographies “A Passion to Win.”

“Sumner Redstone was a brilliant visionary, operator and dealmaker, who single-handedly transformed a family-owned drive-in theatre company into a global media portfolio,” said ViacomCBS president and CEO Bob Bakish.

“He was a force of nature and fierce competitor, who leaves behind a profound legacy in both business and philanthropy. ViacomCBS will remember Sumner for his unparalleled passion to win, his endless intellectual curiosity, and his complete dedication to the company. We extend our deepest sympathies to the Redstone family today,” he added.

Redstone’s later years were full of public disputes with his family members as well as former girlfriends. To a better ending, his daughter Shari E Redstone, who once wanted to go on a different path, gradually took control over the giant business.

"My father led an extraordinary life that not only shaped entertainment as we know it today but created an incredible family legacy. Through it all, we shared a great love for one another and he was a wonderful father, grandfather and great-grandfather. I am so proud to be his daughter and I will miss him always," she shared in a statement:

Latest Reads
In10 Media's Adita Jain talks content acquisition & syndication during Covid2019

MUMBAI: Today, more than ever before, there’s a huge demand as well as outflow of Indian content in the international market. This has opened up avenues of content acquisition and syndication and broadcasters have leapt at this opportunity to boost their revenues. Media reports state that...

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
CNBC-TV18 set to decode Union Budget 2021 ‘like no other’

NEW DELHI: As the economy recovers from the Covid2019 pandemic, the finance minister has promised a "budget like never before." Ahead of the Union Budget 2021, CNBC-TV18 has chalked out a special programming line-up themed ‘A Budget Like No Other,’ which will bring together global investors,...

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
NBA & Prasar Bharati content partnership tips off

KOLKATA: North America’s National Basketball Association (NBA) and Indian public service broadcaster Prasar Bharati have inked a partnership that will see Doordarshan (DD) Sports, and its YouTube channel – Prasar Bharati Sports – air classic NBA content, documentaries, game highlights and public...

Television TV Channels Sports
ET Now goes live on Bell Fibe TV in Canada

NEW DELHI: Times Network has gained another foothold in the international markets with the launch of ET Now on Bell Fibe TV in Ontario and Québec through a distribution partnership with Ethnic Channels Group (ECG), the world’s largest multicultural broadcaster. Nextologies, a global leader in...

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
TRP scam: Republic TV serves legal notice to Indian Express

Embattled news channel Republic TV is on the warpath. After going toe-to-toe with the Times Network over the alleged TRP manipulation case, the channel has now served a legal notice to Indian Express for its recent story titled 'Arnab Goswami paid me $12,000 and Rs 40 lakh to fix ratings: Partho...

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
Endemol Shine India’s Abhishek Rege speaks on his plans for 2021

Endemol Shine India, a leader in producing non-scripted format shows such as Bigg Boss, Master Chef, Khatron Ke Khiladi and Dance India is planning to increase its content creation by 30 to 35 per cent in 2021.

Television Production House Fiction
Shashi Shekhar Vempati's Republic Day coup

Prasar Bharati CEO Shashi Shekhar Vempati is pleased as punch. The reason: Doordarshan’s coverage of India’s Republic Day parade celebration in New Delhi has been praised by all and sundry.

Television TV Channels Viewership
Disney Star India optimistic about India-England domestic series

The fabulous performance by the Indians in the away cricket test series against Australia which was telecast on the Sony Entertainment sports channels is likely to benefit Star Sports during the domestic tour of India by the English cricket team.

Television TV Channels Sports
Arnab Goswami to voluntarily, publicly disclose all his financial dealings

MUMBAI: Clearly, the face-off between the Maharashtra government led by Uddhav Thackeray, the Mumbai police led by its chief Param Bir Singh and Republic Media promoter and editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami is not going to end quickly or easily.

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories

* indicates required