Interview Transcript: Sumner Redstone
Mr. REDSTONE: Outdoor is a vastly growing business, growing here and overseas. It's one of the best businesses that CBS has. And as I told you, we have opportunities everywhere in the world. China, Dubai. Why should we sell it? Radio, while not growing fast, radio gives us a billion dollars a year. How do you think we pay those dividends? We pay them largely as a result of the success of radio. So that's why investors love CBS. They have different reasons for loving each company, but let me tell you, both companies are loved. I love them, you've got to love them, investors love them. So the radio is important, too. When they have some--look, CBS sold assets. They sold the right radio stations, the sold the right television stations. They sold the parks. You know, I had a friend who was one of bidders, and you know what he said to me? `I cannot believe CBS got what they got for those parks.' So we do sell some non-growth assets, and that's attributable to Les. Les is a great manager. And if he wants to go into the film business, I will support him. You know why? He's never done anything wrong.
BARTIROMO: Even because it's competing with Viacom?
Mr. REDSTONE: Look. These companies were born to compete. One very clear statement that was made when the companies were created was that they had the right to compete with each other, although Les has a much more modest view about the films he's going to make than Paramount does, totally different. However, if they want to compete, I believe, and you know, competition improves the companies. It hones the instinct of the other company to compete and compete successfully. I love competition on a fair playing ground. And if the playing ground isn't fair, we know how to make it fair.
BARTIROMO: Have you heard from Imus? How involved were you in the decision to take him off the air?
Mr. REDSTONE: None. Only to the extent of Les discussed it with me. And others tried to influence me. But I felt that was the job of Les Moonves as the CEO and I said to Les, `It's your decision,' and I believe, though, it was a difficult decision, for obvious reasons, he made the only decision he could make. He made an appropriate decision.
BARTIROMO: Sumner, would you like to add anything else?
Mr. REDSTONE: Yeah. It's been so pleasant to see you. You look so well.
BARTIROMO: Thank you very much.
Mr. REDSTONE: More beautiful than ever.
BARTIROMO: Thank you for joining us. Great to talk to you.