Viacom Director Sends Redstone Open Letter

Salerno says new advisers won’t let him talk to mogul about Paramount

Viacom’s lead independent director, Frederick Salerno, has written an open letter to controlling shareholder Sumner Redstone in which he aired many of the issues now being fought out in court.

Redstone and some of Viacom’s directors, including CEO Philippe Dauman, are at war over control of the company, part of a $40 billion media empire.

Lately Redstone has been siding with his daughter, Shari Redstone, and the directors have charged in court that she is executing undue influence over her ailing father, who has removed Dauman as a director of his family holding company and is opposing the sale of a 49% stake in Paramount Pictures.

Salerno called himself the 93-year-old mogul’s long-time friend and said he is making the letter public “in the hope that those around you will read it to you and that you can see the complexity of the issues confronting us.”

Salerno called it strange that Redstone in the last few months has new advisors and spokespeople who say they work for him and that Redstone no longer trust his friends, advisors and board.