The impact of Sumner Redstone's sudden resignation as CBS executive chairman was ameliorated by news that CEO Les Moonves would take the reins. But the path forward for Viacom, the other jewel of Redstone's media empire, remains much more uncertain, company watchers said.
Viacom, which owns cable networks MTV, Nickelodeon and Comedy Central, followed CBS' lead and replaced the 92-year-old Redstone on Thursday. CEO Philippe Dauman will take over as the company's executive chairman.
While Dauman has bought himself some time, he will likely need to show progress in growing digital, mobile and television businesses either organically or through acquisitions, said Gamco Investors' Mario Gabelli, who owns the second-most Viacom voting shares.
"You have a company with an interesting scale in the entertainment business that could be viewed as up for play in a variety of ways," Gabelli said on CNBC's "Fast Money: Halftime Report."