CBS and Redstones in Talks to Settle Litigation: Reports

CBS and the family of ailing media mogul Sumner Redstone which controls CBS, are in talks aimed at settling their legal issues, according to reports.

The Redstones, who have 80% of the voting stock in CBS through their holding company National Amusements, have been pushing a combination of CBS with Viacom, the other big media company National Amusements controls.

CBS has resisted merging with Viacom and CBS’s board in May voted to dilute National Amusements’ stake. National Amusements countered the move and CBS filed a lawsuit.

Related: CBS Sues NAI to Block Viacom Merger

According to reports, the framework of a settlement would involved CBS stopping its attempt to wrest control from the Redstones in return for the combination of CBS and Viacom being tabled for an undisclosed period, the Wall Street Journal said.

There is a hearing set for Sept. 14 in Delaware Chancery Court and the trial is set for Oct. 3.

Related: Delaware Judge Hits Pause Button on CBS-National Amusements Dispute

It is unclear how the settlement talks would affect the future of CBS CEO Les Moonves. CBS has hired law firms to investigate charges published by New York Magazine in June that Moonves engaged in improper behavior with female actresses, producers and executives over the course of his career including at CBS.

Moonves acknowledged his actions and CBS has said it takes the accusations seriously.

Related: CBS Stock Drops on Rumor of Reports of Moonves

In one report, the settlement of the dispute between CBS and the Redstone’s could pave the way for Moonves to depart.

There have been discussion about the severance package Moonves would receive if he steps down as CEO. The Los Angeles Times said moonves could receive more than $200 million.

HIs contract also calls for Moonves to remain affiliated with CBS as an independent producer with a production deal with the network.

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.