Viacom CEO Says Trials Will Lead to Resolution

Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman, embroiled in a battle for control of the media company with majority shareholder Sumner Redstone, said upcoming trials would resolve the controversy.

Speaking on Viacom's earnings call with analysts Wednesday, Dauman opened by acknowledging what he called the "controversy related to governance" at the corporation, which has "created an overhang for our company."

He noted that lawsuits brought by him and other Viacom directors against Redstone had not been dismissed and were heading for trials scheduled for October.

"We view these court rulings as positive steps that will lead to a resolution," Dauman said.

He said he wouldn't comment beyond that because of the pending litigation.

On the call, he said that Viacom was continuing its strategy of investing in original programming and building its international operations and that he would be pursuing the "careful, comprehensive and consistent vision" he's had for Viacom since becoming CEO in 2006.

Dauman said that the plan to sell a minority stake in Paramount had been slowed by the ownership controversy but that recent court rulings mean that the company could proceed to work with several potential partners to be ready to bring a potential deal to the board.

Spokesmen for Redstone have said he opposes selling a stake in Paramount.

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.