A couple of weeks ago, at an event, Sumner Redstone assured one of our reporters — as he has been saying publicly to everyone — that he would never sell Viacom or CBS. Actually, the phrase he used was “never, never, never, never, never.” But today’s Times reports that what the media mogul has been saying privately is slightly different. As he offers to sell off his movie-theater chain in order to satisfy lenders, there’s been debate over how much the 1,500 locations are actually worth. Some evaluators say $500 million, but Redstone reportedly argues the figure is above $1 billion. If the final number is on the lower end, sources close to the mogul say he’s willing to put CBS on the block, but not Viacom. It’s good news for his holding company, National Amusements, which is facing a $800 million debt deadline, and also bodes well for his fractured relationship with his daughter, who owns 20 percent of the shares. But it’s not as good for us, because we just loved the way he chanted “never, never, never!” “Sometimes, maybe, probably!” just doesn’t wiggle the gobble in the same way.
“This election was lost by the Democrats,” he says.