WHEN: TODAY, MONDAY, MARCH 1ST
WHERE: CNBC'S BUSINESS DAY PROGRAMMING
Following is the unofficial transcript of a CNBC EXCLUSIVE interview with Sumner Redstone, Viacom & CBS Chairman, today, Monday, March 1st. Excerpts of the interview will run throughout CNBC's Business Day programming.
All references must be sourced to CNBC.
DAVID FABER: Let's talk a little about where a little bit about where you think we are in the economy. I mean, you've mentioned the ad markets starting to come back. What are you what are you seeing? What are you hearing?
SUMNER REDSTONE: Well, we we've had a very tough time, and the economy has been bad, as I've said. I'd like to say it, that both Philippe and Les have weathered the storm, which shows the strength of the companies. Now by the way, I should tell you we've gotten some new affiliate agreements, means revenue will go up in the future well into the future. We're doing everything really right. We've extended our maturities. That means more cash flow.
In fact, we've spruced up the whole division. And of course, we're concentrating, as we should, on content. We've developed I know it's a little diversion, but I think it's relevant. A number of new creative shows that are helping the ratings of MTV like The Great American Band, Tiny Mom and particularly, you've heard of it, Jersey Shores. Those are increasing the ratings of MTV. We have a very new creative programming team there. Also, BET is having the best year in its history.
DAVID FABER: Is it really? Why?
SUMNER REDSTONE: The best year in its history, cause they totally repro we are willing to spend money on programming, where whereas others might be reluctant, because for every dollar you spend on programming, you get two dollars back. And Nickelodeon, in existence 30 years, the most watched year was this year of 30 years. And meanwhile, we have three young networks, Spike, TV Land and Comedy Central. They're doing great.
So I really think these guys are doing about everything they could do. And meanwhile, as you know, I travel a lot. I went to Germany to launch Comedy Central. That's what brings it up. I went to Germany to Turkey to launch a 24 hour MTV channel. So I think all of us are really working hard to create value for our investors. I've always thought that when people invest their money in our companies, we have an obligation to work as hard as we can to make them succeed with their investments. I know I've diverted a little bit, but
DAVID FABER: Well, that's all right. Well, we can stay on this. I mean, let's you know, the stock prices were a lot higher a number of years ago. I mean, there hasn't been a lot of created for for some time
SUMNER REDSTONE: Wait, wait, wait. But
DAVID FABER: including for your own pocketbook
SUMNER REDSTONE: Wait a minute. Wait a minute. Pardon me, but our stocks are going up, and we've gone through a very tough, tough time. And as I say, you know, people have been buying our stocks. Analysts are recommending our stocks. I showed you why. They will go up. I have absolute confidence. And the fact that analysts are putting the target so much higher than the price makes me feel good, because
DAVID FABER: I'm sure.
SUMNER REDSTONE: they they share my view, which is obvious that the stocks of CBS and Viacom are very much undervalued. I'm willing to be patient, for a year or two, till they go up fast.
DAVID FABER: Well, you've had to have been patient for a while now.
DAVID FABER: I mean, the fact is that
SUMNER REDSTONE: Well
DAVID FABER: a number of years ago
SUMNER REDSTONE: one thing
DAVID FABER: both these stocks were much higher.
SUMNER REDSTONE: yes, and
DAVID FABER: You were much richer.
SUMNER REDSTONE: Well, I don't care about that. You know that. I don't care about money. I care about winning, and we're winning. Of course, with the market the way it is, markets listen, today the market was over $130. You looked at the board. What were the only stocks up? Say it.
DAVID FABER: It was Viacom. I've already said it.
SUMNER REDSTONE: Well, say it again.
DAVID FABER: we'll only use it once
SUMNER REDSTONE: It's important.
DAVID FABER: We're not gonna use that twice.
SUMNER REDSTONE: Yeah, so I'll use it forever.
DAVID FABER: Understood. But you don't want to talk about the fact that these stocks were once a lot higher
SUMNER REDSTONE: No, no.
DAVID FABER: I mean, it's a fact.
SUMNER REDSTONE: Well, of course listen, of course
DAVID FABER: Does it make you sad?
SUMNER REDSTONE: No, because I'm an optimist. We'll be higher than we were. I know what goes on with the operations of these companies. I know the kind of leaders we have of these companies. I know the dialogue we have day in and day out. Of course I would have liked it if the market didn't collapse. Our stocks were higher. But am I sad? No, cause they'll be higher than they were.
DAVID FABER: Let's get back to the economy and advertising. You know, what are you hearing from Les and Philippe and from your from everybody else.
SUMNER REDSTONE: Everyone in my companies, and I'm hearing it from others, say that advertising is beginning to come back. As it comes back, the two companies that will profit the most are CBS and Via which are very heavily content-focused. Remember, I said, content is king. And it remains king.
And we have the best content. In the network business, CBS clearly has the best content. In the cable business, look at the cable channels we have. And we also have Paramount. Brad Grey is fantastic, and Brad Grey has learned how to make pictures and make money at the same time.
DAVID FABER: You love that studio.
SUMNER REDSTONE: I do.
DAVID FABER: You know some people say you should just you should sell it, that you could sell it or you could merge it with Rupert's studio.
SUMNER REDSTONE: With who?
DAVID FABER: And make a lot of money, and get paid a lot of money, cause there's a lot of up side in having a combination of two big studios.
SUMNER REDSTONE: Have you ever known me to be motivated by money?
DAVID FABER: No, but I know you to be motivated by creating shareholder value.
SUMNER REDSTONE: Shareholder value, when it's in the long-term interests of share I never make a decision for the short-term value of our company or for investors. My goal is what's in the long-term interests of investors and our companies. And it's not in the long-term interest of these companies to do what you just suggested.
DAVID FABER: Why not?
SUMNER REDSTONE: Because we're the best. Why should we merge with less than the best? We are the best companies.
DAVID FABER: Understood, but
SUMNER REDSTONE: And you can hold that, even though you
DAVID FABER: But there are
SUMNER REDSTONE: You may not be
DAVID FABER: But the
SUMNER REDSTONE: You may be afraid to say it.
DAVID FABER: No, I it's not a function of what I believe or not, it's but the question is, is Paramount, as an asset that you control, something that you could create a lot of value from giving up control of?
SUMNER REDSTONE: No. Control is everything. If you don't know it, ask Ted Turner. Control is everything, cause when you have control, you control your own destiny. And I prefer that I control my own destiny, along with Philippe and Les. The three of us control the destiny of these companies.
DAVID FABER: So Paramount, the studio, is gonna be a part of Viacom
SUMNER REDSTONE: Forever.
DAVID FABER: Forever. You fought long and hard for that one.
SUMNER REDSTONE: I did. Barry Diller cost me two billion. He and he was never gonna win. And by the way, Barry and I are friends. John Malone and I are friends. Remember what Mandela said. What did he say? "Without forgiveness, there is no future." I always look to the future.
DAVID FABER: And the future will include Paramount being a part of Viacom.
SUMNER REDSTONE: Yes, it will.
DAVID FABER: Do you think there will be some consolidation on the studio front
SUMNER REDSTONE: I see very little. You know, maybe Metro, which appears unfortunately, cause I like Kurt a lot
DAVID FABER: It's almost in bankruptcy. I mean, yeah.
SUMNER REDSTONE: Yeah, someone might acquire that. But as far as the major companies, it could happen, I see no consolidation among the major companies.
DAVID FABER: Why among the studios, shouldn't
SUMNER REDSTONE: Why?
DAVID FABER: Should there be or no?
SUMNER REDSTONE: No.
DAVID FABER: No.
SUMNER REDSTONE: Why? Let them each be on their own, do their best to create good product.
DAVID FABER: You feel like Paramount's in a good place right now? I know you distribute a lot of movies
SUMNER REDSTONE: Are you kidding?
DAVID FABER: but do you create a lot
SUMNER REDSTONE: Are you
DAVID FABER: of movies?
SUMNER REDSTONE: Are you kidding?
DAVID FABER: Well, I don't know.
SUMNER REDSTONE: What's the number one picture? Transformers. What about Shutter Island? You know, Shutter Island we thought would do $32 million the first weekend 40.2 and Shutter Island's did you see the picture?
DAVID FABER: I haven't seen Shutter Island.
SUMNER REDSTONE: Well, you should.
DAVID FABER: I'd like to. I like Martin Scorcese
SUMNER REDSTONE: And Lee Leonardo Dicaprio does one of the best roles I have ever seen in my long life in this industry. I believe he'll win best actor.
DAVID FABER: He's an excellent actor.
SUMNER REDSTONE: He's terrific. But in this picture, he was at his best. And whose picture is it? Paramount's naturally.
DAVID FABER: Right. The studio had a couple of lean years. This has been a much better year, but it
SUMNER REDSTONE: Let me tell you.
DAVID FABER: did have a few years
SUMNER REDSTONE: Let let me let me let
DAVID FABER: there where it really wasn't doing
SUMNER REDSTONE: Let me tell but we have to intelligently on a strategic basis. It was at that time we bought DreamWorks. Universal made a mistake. They didn't. And DreamWorks filled an important gap for us at that time. But now we have all the product we want. DreamWorks, which we like we like the people cost us about $45 million, $50 million in overhead.
So we said goodbye to DreamWorks, at the right time. But Steven remains a friend and he will produce for Paramount. Why? Because part of the deal we made, it was a good deal, was we kept all their product and all their work in progress does not belong to them, nor do their franchises. They belong to us. So Steven, with whom I'm very friendly, if he wants to make movies with that product, makes em with Paramount. And we're glad to have him.
DAVID FABER: So that's like
SUMNER REDSTONE: He's great.
DAVID FABER: It was Transformers or
SUMNER REDSTONE: Yeah, and he all the Transformers belong to us, as many sequels as there are. But Steven and I frequently we have lunch frequently at his mother's restaurant. Have you ever heard of it?
DAVID FABER: Yes, I have.
SUMNER REDSTONE: Moogie Way? His mother's this high. He's this high.
DAVID FABER: And you know what? That reminds me. I want to ask you about your relationship with another Hollywood heavyweight
SUMNER REDSTONE: Who?
DAVID FABER: Tom Cruise.
SUMNER REDSTONE: Oh, Tom and I are very good friends now.
DAVID FABER: Yeah, what happened there? Now, you guys were on the outs for a little while
SUMNER REDSTONE: Well, look. I always thought Tom was charming. I thought he was a great actor. But his behavior at a certain period, you know what it was, was really unacceptable. And I thought it cost us, even though his picture did well, 100 million bucks. And also, just to have him on the lot at that time cost us $10 million, without doing anything.
I didn't think that was good. And I changed it. And I think I changed the industry approach also at that time. Now, I still thought he was a good actor. You heard the story. We met at the Beverly Hills Hotel. He told me he wanted to come back. I told him I'd like to have him back. I would recommend it. Today, he's back. He's happy. I'm happy. He's a great actor. It's a great franchise. And he's working on a script he told me would be great. And he knows what he's doing.
DAVID FABER: What's he working on?
SUMNER REDSTONE: He's working on a script for the next Mission.
DAVID FABER: Mission Impossible 4.
SUMNER REDSTONE: and J.J. Abrams is gonna produce it.
DAVID FABER: Right, who did Star Trek
SUMNER REDSTONE: And who
DAVID FABER: which
SUMNER REDSTONE: Who is great. So I look forward to having Tom there indefinitely. He might even be doing other pictures for us at the studio, so he's a great actor and by the way, he knows a lot about the movies. He helps writing these scripts.
DAVID FABER: Well, he also owned a studio for didn't he control what was that
SUMNER REDSTONE: Yeah, he UA.
DAVID FABER: UA.
SUMNER REDSTONE: Those were bad years.
DAVID FABER: Yeah, that's over, I guess
SUMNER REDSTONE: That's over.
DAVID FABER: Yeah, yeah. And you got so did you at that lunch or wherever, where you met, did you
SUMNER REDSTONE: Well, we had dinner recently. And that was a time we cemented our friendship. We both told each other that we were glad we were together. His wife was there. She echo she echoed the same feelings. And in fact, when he left, he said, "The next time I want to see you, I want to come see your house," which you're in.
DAVID FABER: You got to have movies
SUMNER REDSTONE: So we're good friends.
DAVID FABER: Yeah, and you have a working relationship again
SUMNER REDSTONE: Yeah, we have a working and that's the way it's always been with me, to be friendly with the people who are associated with you.
DAVID FABER: Right, but it got a little heated there
SUMNER REDSTONE: It did.
DAVID FABER: for a while.
SUMNER REDSTONE: For a while, there was a reason. But the reason didn't persuade me he wasn't a charming, nice guy. And that he wasn't a great actor. And so he's back.
DAVID FABER: When's Mission Impossible 4 gonna
SUMNER REDSTONE: We don't know. I don't really know, because we have to complete a script, which is being worked on now, and Tom says it's a blow-away. And if he says so, I assume it is.
DAVID FABER: You know, Mi three was a really good movie. And that's what got hurt, I guess, in part cause of all the publicity
SUMNER REDSTONE: part. Look, Tom doesn't have the same deal he had before, and he knew that wouldn't be. I told him when we have lunch, if he came back, it would be a different deal. But he has a deal. If the picture succeeds, he will make a ton of money and so will we. It won't be just disproportionate.
DAVID FABER: It's not as much
SUMNER REDSTONE: The way it
DAVID FABER: on the back end or
SUMNER REDSTONE: Yeah, yeah. It won't be in the past, he made this much. We made this much. I know they can't or they can see this. But now will be a fairer distribution of which it should be with all the studios.
DAVID FABER: So now, Paramount
SUMNER REDSTONE: We
DAVID FABER: will actually make more as much as money maybe as Tom Cruise would.
SUMNER REDSTONE: Let me say this. As great as Tom is, it's not the actor who makes the picture. It's the script. You have to have a great script to have a great movie. If in addition, you have a great actor like Tom, then you're a big winner. But you have to start with the great script. Big big actors, big name actors, cannot make a good movie with a bad script.
DAVID FABER: So he's back on the lot. He's working on Mission Impossible 4 and maybe
SUMNER REDSTONE: And maybe other
DAVID FABER: other projects.
SUMNER REDSTONE: Yes, other projects too. And I'm I hope he's there forever.
DAVID FABER: And Spielberg's a buddy of yours, but he's not
SUMNER REDSTONE: Yes
DAVID FABER: on the lot anymore.
SUMNER REDSTONE: No, he's not on the lot. He's at Universal. But we see each other all the time. We talk for really, I must say, two or three conversations with him in the last ten days. We go to lunch frequently.
DAVID FABER: What are you talking to him about? Anything interesting?
SUMNER REDSTONE: Well, a few things I can't discuss, but you know, bunch but we sincerely are friends. I mean and we go to lunch often. It's his mother's Milky Way Restaurant.
DAVID FABER: Right. Right. And let me you know, talk a little ask you a little bit about you. I you and I haven't sat across from each other in almost two years.
SUMNER REDSTONE: Too long.
DAVID FABER: Too long. How are you feeling? How
SUMNER REDSTONE: Life
DAVID FABER: How's that diet that you were on doing?
SUMNER REDSTONE: Well, first, I eat and drink every antioxidant known to man. I exercise an hour every day, walk, bike, swim every day. I'm interested in keeping healthy cause I want to live forever. I understand that's a possibility.
DAVID FABER: We've already had that discussion.
SUMNER REDSTONE: I know. But I'll tell you.
DAVID FABER: I'll believe you.
SUMNER REDSTONE: No no
DAVID FABER: You can maybe you will live.
SUMNER REDSTONE: And I will and I'll tell you this. I feel better than I felt when I was 20 years old. That may seem like an overstatement. I'm telling you the truth. I feel wonderful. I feel like I'm on top of the world. And part of it is the success, of course, of National, CBS and Viacom.
DAVID FABER: That did the National getting that done, did that take a weight off? Did was that relief
SUMNER REDSTONE: It took a tremendous weight off me. But I'm an optimist, as you know. I always knew we would get out of it well. I never knew that we would get out of it as well as we did, with Viacom and CBS and all the
DAVID FABER: For a while there, did you think you would have to sell a lot more
SUMNER REDSTONE: no, I
DAVID FABER: than you did, a lot more
SUMNER REDSTONE: No.
DAVID FABER: a lot more of the movie theatres, maybe or
SUMNER REDSTONE: No, I never thought I would sell CBS.
DAVID FABER: No, I know that. And and you had talked to me
SUMNER REDSTONE: Oh yeah.
DAVID FABER: But you at National, you thought
SUMNER REDSTONE: The the we could people thought we had an unsuccessful cold auction. We had all kinds of offers for our better theatres. I wouldn't take them. I knew we'd come out in the long run.
DAVID FABER: You ever gonna put
SUMNER REDSTONE: And we did.
DAVID FABER: a lot more debt on National again, or are you
SUMNER REDSTONE: No.
DAVID FABER: done with that?
SUMNER REDSTONE: No, it's debt is gonna be institutional debt, very modest, a tiny fraction of the value of our assets.
DAVID FABER: Now how about you again? You're feeling good. You're also you're single.
SUMNER REDSTONE: True.
DAVID FABER: How's that working out for you?
SUMNER REDSTONE: I like it.
DAVID FABER: Yeah?
SUMNER REDSTONE: I mean look, I had two women who were very good wives. I'm friendly with Phyllis today. We talk on the phone. She calls me frequently to ask me how I'm feeling. I do the same with her. Paula and I are very good friends. I never go to dinner without getting food for her and sending it to her. So we're friends. I eat frequently with her. I take her out to dinner. But it's not
DAVID FABER: You take a lot of people out to dinner
SUMNER REDSTONE: Well, I
DAVID FABER: don't you?
SUMNER REDSTONE: Well, wait a minute, but it's not a romantic relationship. It's a relationship of friends.
DAVID FABER: Which is suiting you fine.
SUMNER REDSTONE: It's suiting me fine. I have a lot of friends.
DAVID FABER: Yeah, I know you do.
SUMNER REDSTONE: And that adds to my sense of well-being. You're a friend.
DAVID FABER: I am.
SUMNER REDSTONE: A very good friend.
DAVID FABER: I appreciate that.
SUMNER REDSTONE: Well, you are. You deser well, I can't say you deserve my friendship. I hope I deserve yours.
DAVID FABER: You've always been a good friend.
SUMNER REDSTONE: Well and we will remain friends forever, even after you're gone.
DAVID FABER: All right, I don't want to talk anymore about my demise. But so, yeah, I see occasionally you showed up on the Internet in some thing on TMZ. I mean
SUMNER REDSTONE: Oh yeah.
DAVID FABER: you're all over the place.
SUMNER REDSTONE: Well, what happened was a famous star was at the stable. They were there to get me. I walked into a trap. So I was with a fairly good-looking woman. So what?
DAVID FABER: Nothing wrong with that.
SUMNER REDSTONE: Well, I'm not married.
DAVID FABER: No.
SUMNER REDSTONE: But I try to avoid that.
DAVID FABER: We never finished the thoughts on the economy. You said things are getting a little better.
SUMNER REDSTONE: Yeah.
DAVID FABER: You expect is it gonna be
SUMNER REDSTONE: The pricing
DAVID FABER: What what are you feeling out there
SUMNER REDSTONE: is a pricing of advertisers is getting better too. Not only is it coming back, but the pricing is better. Well, the signs are all positive now. When we'll get there? You don't know. I don't know. But we will get there. And we will profit from it, as will others, but not as much as CBS and Viacom
DAVID FABER: You think you're better positioned.
SUMNER REDSTONE: We are better positioned, yes.
DAVID FABER: Than any of the other entertainment companies out there
SUMNER REDSTONE: Yeah, that's not that's fairly objective. I think you'd find that most Wall Street analysts, at least the intelligent ones, would agree with that.
DAVID FABER: Right. If you hadn't signed Les Moonves, you think he would have gone to run NBC Universal?
SUMNER REDSTONE: Well, you know, he ran Warners for a while. And he was an actor for a while. I frequently said, "Never did such a bad actor go so far as you, Les."
DAVID FABER: He was in, yeah, a couple of miniseries in the '70s
SUMNER REDSTONE: Yeah, he was.
DAVID FABER: wasn't he or something?
SUMNER REDSTONE: Right. Now he's married to a wonderful woman, Judy Julie. We're all together frequently. She'll be there Sunday when I have dinner with em. he's in a good place.
DAVID FABER: I want to ask you something to wrap up here, in terms of how much leeway you give both of your CEOs.
SUMNER REDSTONE: Well, you asked me that before
DAVID FABER: I well, I want to bring up a specific point
SUMNER REDSTONE: Go ahead.
DAVID FABER: Cause there's a couple of investors who said, you know, they wish actually that Sumner had played a stronger role in getting everybody around the table when it came to Showtime and Paramount and created the prevention of this Epix that it cost.
SUMNER REDSTONE: Halt.
DAVID FABER: both companies
SUMNER REDSTONE: Halt.
DAVID FABER: a lot of money.
SUMNER REDSTONE: Halt, halt.
DAVID FABER: And you could have banked some heads in
SUMNER REDSTONE: Halt.
DAVID FABER: made it work.
SUMNER REDSTONE: Halt. First, that's the way it looked originally. You want me to give you the facts?
DAVID FABER: Yeah, I want the facts. Don't stick the
SUMNER REDSTONE: The fact
DAVID FABER: halt hand in my face anymore.
SUMNER REDSTONE: You're gonna get the facts, if you're patient and be quiet.
DAVID FABER: Okay, I'm listening.
SUMNER REDSTONE: It looked that way at the beginning. Right now, Showtime is playing a big role in Les's desire to go into the movie business. Now it's true, his first picture, Extraordinary Measures
DAVID FABER: It's not done well.
SUMNER REDSTONE: Wait a minute. You're wrong. Not frequently, but you're wrong. The picture was wonderful. It didn't do well at the box office. Why? It was about a very difficult subject. His next picture with Jennifer Lopez has been screened. It's gonna do very good business. He's gonna keep better getting better and better at what he does. This is a new business for him. Now
DAVID FABER: But why does he need to
SUMNER REDSTONE: Wait, wait, wait, wait. You won't let me finish.
DAVID FABER: ask the question!
SUMNER REDSTONE: Let me finish my point!
DAVID FABER: All right, go ahead.
SUMNER REDSTONE: Epix is now signing up leading cable operators. Just signed up Charter. It just signed up Cox. Efforts will succeed. Showtime will succeed. That's the way it should be. As far as competition goes, I said at the beginning. These companies could compete with each other. My view? Competition is great. It brings out the best in both people.
DAVID FABER: But you could had em both in a room and said,Come on, guys. Figure something out
DAVID FABER: here with Paramount and Showtime, and that would have
DAVID FABER: helped both Viacom and CBS.
SUMNER REDSTONE: No, but right now, they're in a better position now than if I had did that, because they both have good positions in Showtime and Epix.
DAVID FABER: You think Epix is gonna make money?
SUMNER REDSTONE: I know it's gonna make I'd say within a year or so, we'll be in profit. It keeps adding new su new affiliates. And theory is good. The partners are good. You know, Lionsgate is a partner. So yeah, it's gonna succeed.
DAVID FABER: And you think and you think Showtime's gonna make some movies that are and CBS will make
SUMNER REDSTONE: No, Showtime's not gonna make the movies
DAVID FABER: CBS is gonna make the movies?
SUMNER REDSTONE: It's an outlet. And even on Extraordinary Measures, they didn't lose much money cause the pic was pre-sold all over the world. With that and Showtime, the loss was miniscule. And that's a sign of Les's intelligence to know how to use Showtime in connection with his production of movies. He's very smart. Philippe's very smart. That's why our companies will be long-term winners.
DAVID FABER: Back to this Epix just to because you know, it's funny. I mean, it's because right now, it's something that investors focus on, because they see it as
SUMNER REDSTONE: I know, but investors are being encouraged every time we sign up. Remember, we have Verizon too. Every time we sign up a new affiliate Charter was important. Cox was very important. And there are others going to come. Watch.
DAVID FABER: There will be more.
SUMNER REDSTONE: There will be a lot more.
DAVID FABER: And there'll be enough product out there as well?
SUMNER REDSTONE: Who can I ask you a question? Who can live without Paramount product? Think about it. Think about the pictures we have, the ones we've made. Think about Shutter Island, Transformers. You're gonna live without that? Of course not. One of the things that motivated Philippe and me in making this decision was our confidence in the product.
DAVID FABER: Understood. But why couldn't you just get Showtime, which you also control, to pay a little bit more money for the Paramount product, keep everybody happy?
SUMNER REDSTONE: Because Les paid as much as he thought he should pay. And I was not going to tell him to pay more. And so sure, it could have worked another way, but the long-term is what counts. Long-term, it's great for both.
DAVID FABER: And that was a decision ultimately
SUMNER REDSTONE: It look
DAVID FABER: What it says is that's a decision
DAVID FABER: You let him you're not gonna get
SUMNER REDSTONE: Yes. Well, I was involved, obviously. Take a look at Showtime with Tudors, with Dexter. Many people think Dexter's the best show on television. So Les is succeeding with Showtime. Philippe is succeeding with Epix.
DAVID FABER: And when you look at your competitors out there?
SUMNER REDSTONE: What competitors?
DAVID FABER: Well, you got a few. Time Warner
DAVID FABER: NBC Universal.
SUMNER REDSTONE: Yeah, but yeah
DAVID FABER: NewsCorp, they
SUMNER REDSTONE: That's not come on.
DAVID FABER: Those come to mind.
SUMNER REDSTONE: Come on. You gonna compare them to Viacom and CBS? Take a look at the board. You know the what is the highest priced stock on the board? Not Time Warner, not Disney, not FOX. Viacom It's the si it's a manifestation of the preeminence of Viacom.
DAVID FABER: That's just a number. If that that does not the the highest valued company. It's just the one with the
SUMNER REDSTONE: Well, why are you talking
DAVID FABER: number that is
SUMNER REDSTONE: Listen, it's your business. Talk to a few analysts and you'll learn something. You'll learn they think Viacom is the best company.
DAVID FABER: There are other companies that are also doing fine, aren't there?
SUMNER REDSTONE: Well, I
DAVID FABER: Will you even at least grant that?
SUMNER REDSTONE: Yeah, wait, of course. Listen.
DAVID FABER: Are you only happy when you
SUMNER REDSTONE: No, no, no.
DAVID FABER: when they're suffering?
SUMNER REDSTONE: No, no, no. You don't get it. I want my competitors to do well. But I want us to do better. What's wrong with that?
DAVID FABER: Nothing, nothing at all.
SUMNER REDSTONE: It's the passion to win.
DAVID FABER: Absolutely.
SUMNER REDSTONE: No, I don't wish anyone bad in our business, even those who may not have been so friendly. I want them to succeed. It's just I want to succeed. I have that passion, you know, to win. That means being number one, not number two.
DAVID FABER: Now, you made a decision to give up the CEO title
SUMNER REDSTONE: Yes.
DAVID FABER: a number of years ago.
SUMNER REDSTONE: Well, I had to. I couldn't be CEO of both companies.
DAVID FABER: Right. And when you look at a Rupert Murdoch, do you think you know, at some point, what'll happen there in terms of succession? Another controlled media company, of course, the same way yours are
SUMNER REDSTONE: I think Rupert is very smart. He's a great leader. But I think he's made a mistake, my opinion. He's buried in ink. And in my view, there won't be any real newspaper business ten years from now. Fortunately, we're buried in television and movies. They'll be here forever, all over the world.
DAVID FABER: You think that's gonna come back to haunt him, his love of newspapers?
SUMNER REDSTONE: Well, I'm not and I don't wish him anything bad. I would like him to succeed. But when you pay $5 billion for the Wall Street Journal without competition, it's not so easy to succeed. But he's great. He's a great leader. I'm not knocking him. We have a different point of view. That's all.
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