Media mogul Sumner Redstone has removed Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman and Viacom board member George Abrams from the seven-person trust that will determine the fate of both Viacom and CBS in the event of his incapacitation or death, two people familiar with the situation told Reuters.
Reuters reported Tuesday that Redstone, who turns 93 next week, had the power to remove certain members of the trust, including Dauman. The move by Sumner Redstone, gives his daughter, Shari Redstone, who is also on the trust and vice chair of both CBS and Viacom, a victory and more certain control to determine the fate of her father's $40 billion media empire.
On Saturday, The Wall Street Journal reported that Viacom board members had been blocked from seeing the elder Redstone. Many attempts by Viacom's board to meet with SumnerRedstone have been denied, Viacom said.
According to documents faxed to Dauman and Abrams, Redstone also removed Abrams and Dauman from the board of National Amusements, the privately held movie company which owns 80 percent voting stake in CBS and Viacom, one of the sources said.
Both sources wished to remain anonymous because they are not permitted to speak to the media.