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Top Viacom Execs and Sumner Redstone’s Firm Have Held Secret Settlement Talks

Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman, left, and Viacom Chairman Sumner Redstone photographed at Redstone's hoViacom CEO Philippe Dauman, left, and Viacom Chairman Sumner Redstone photographed at Redstone's ho
Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman, left, and Viacom Chairman Sumner Redstone photographed at Redstone's home in Beverly Hills on September 27, 2007. Photograph by Mel Melcon — LA Times via Getty Images

Top Viacom executives recently held discussions with National Amusements to settle litigation related to control of Sumner Redstone’s media empire, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday.

However, the talks fell through last week, ahead of a key ruling by a Delaware judge on Friday, the WSJ said, citing people familiar with the matter.

The Delaware judge ruled that Redstone’s lawyers must defend in a trial his move to oust five directors from Viacom’s board and suggested that he wants to get a better picture of the 93-year-old media mogul’s mental capacity.

 

Under the terms that were discussed by Viacom (VIAB) executives, Chief Executive Philippe Dauman would agree to leave the company and Chief Operating Officer Tom Dooley would become interim CEO, the Journal said.

Several board members of Viacom would also eventually relinquish their posts, the Journal said.

National Amusements is Redstone’s privately held movie theater company through which he owns 80% of Viacom.

Representatives of National Amusements and Viacom declined to comment on the report.