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tv   QA Keach Hagey  CSPAN  January 6, 2019 8:00pm-9:01pm EST

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q&a, wall street investigative reporter talking about her biography of sumner redstone. then, massachusetts senator elizabeth war in talks to democrats in iowa. after that, a journalist roundtable on the 2020 presidential race. ♪ announcer: this week on q&a, wall street journal investigative reporter keach heagy discusses her book, the king of announcer: keach hagey on her book "the king of content." brian: who is sumner redstone? keach: one of the great media moguls of the 20th and 21st centuries. he amassed an norma's media empire that spanned cbs and
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viacom. about viacom,now that owns mtv, paramount pictures, nickelodeon, and of course cbs owns the cbs channel as well as an array of other things like simon & schuster. brian: i'm going to start off with this and ask you to explain it. it is on page 226. sumner was not paying a great deal of attention. chasing2010, his skirt had become a corporate liability. brandon, who had grown tired of introducing his grandfather to girls and the payouts that often followed, decided his grandfather needed a steadier, class your girlfriend. he hired the host of the million or matchmaker on proper to set him up. he was looking for a quality girl he could have a serious relationship with. that is a quote.
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what is that about? keach: this is sumner after he has made his millions and billions. he is in his 80's. twice divorced. after his second divorce, he was out in hollywood. when you are in hollywood and very rich, you have a lot of opportunities to meet young women. he got excited about that. after he had a battle with prostate cancer, he saw being seen with young women as a sign of his vitality. being with them was a sign he could tell the world, going to live forever, as he loves to say. he would go to hollywood parties and go home with his grandson state, is like that. it was awkward for the executives in viacom and cbs. he is still the controlling shareholder of these companies. he would do really weird things. for example, a band of young
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because he had befriended one of them and cajoled the mtv executives to put them on the air. he dated one of them for a while. decisions that would have gone against mtv executives were being forced down their throats because of his love of young ladies. the people around him said, let's go find sumner a steady girlfriend. they hired patty stanger to do that. that is how sydney holland came into his life. brian: who is sydney holland? who --one of two women with sumner for about three years. at this point he was really not well.
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they took care of him. girlfriend and the other one was a friend. they controlled access to him. even between sumner and the executives of five comment cbs. -- viacom and cbs. it was their ousting from his mansion that set in motion this amazing drama and corporate andare that has kept viacom cbs in the pages of the newspaper for years. brian: how old is he? keach: 95. brian: where does he live? keach: beverly hills. brian: what kind of health does he have? keach: stable, but not good. he can't speak. he can't eat. he has a feeding tube. he can sometimes grunt, but he
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mostly communicated about a year ago through an ipad loaded with snippets of his voice. he would push buttons, they would say yes, no, his favorite curse words. he is barely there is how people -- brian: have you met him? keach: i have not. he was very ill before i started working on this project. brian: any reactions about this book you wrote from the family? keach: i cannot really answer the question directly. there has been no public reaction, let me put it that way. book -- ing in this tend to protect the sources i talked to for the book. there has been no public outcry, certainly. 275, it is the end of a trial in 2016 in los angeles superior court. were you in the courtroom?
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keach: i was not. i actually was on maternity leave. brian: what was the trial, and why was it so important? it's near the end of your book. keach: this is the final trial for the battle of viacom in 2016. this was the trial between two sides. there were multiple trials happening at the same time. this is a power struggle between viacom, the former ceo of viacom , and, really, sumner's daughter, sherry redstone. took over the family holding company which controlled cbs and viacom. now she is running the entire empire. she is in charge, clearly. in this trial, basically, oflippe was also a trustee the trust that was going to control the controlling stock of
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cbs and viacom the failing -- the family company had. blue,y in may out of the he was kicked off along with another lawyer who had been there for a long time. he sued and said, it is not sumner kicking me off the trust. it is his daughter. this is an invalid thing. this is just a charade. that started a series of lawsuits in multiple states that led to the overhaul of the viacom board, his ouster, and the rise to power of sherry redstone. brian: i'm going to read -- i can't read it all. the last paragraph in this particular chapter. around lunchtime, the trial was dismissed. an audio recorder of sumner pleading with a lever to participate in a foursome was
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posed to the gossip site radar online. first of all, how did it get to radar online? keach: we do not know. you are asking me about a trial. i was giving you an answer about a subsequent trial a month after that. the one you were asking about was a trial that happened in the spring of that year. get may the fight to out of theuela house. sumner didd said, not have mental capacity. this is a big deal in the corporate world. people have been wondering, why have we not heard from him? what's going on? this.ovided an answer to reinstatedng to be
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as his health guardian, basically. but also to say his decision to kick her out of the house was invalid and his decision to write her out of his will was invalid. , which culminated in this absolute zoo where some there was on videotape being interviewed, but no one could see the tape. they give a trance great -- transcript. he did not say he did not want her in his life and he wanted his daughter sherry to be there. the trial was dismissed and that was the end of manuela. after that, that bizarre audiotape was leaked. we do not know who leaked it. brian: i cannot read much more of it. it says bob has never done a three some with two men. sumner says he has done it with two women. i want him to. what will happen will probably really excite you.
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it goes on and it can be read on television. has that ever been published other than in your book? keach: it was published on radar online. people knew about it. say this is --im he had a very lively love-life. in all of the court papers, both sides describe women coming in, ,eing paid for companionship and this was a pretty normal thing that was happening all the time. brian: does he still control 80% of the company? keach: yes. it is a little arcane, but he controls 80% of the national amusements, a holding company. that company controls 80% of the voting shares of cbs and viacom. brian: one of the reasons i go this way is there were people on the board that are well-known. main was on the
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board. parsons came on as chairman for a while. with all of these shenanigans in federal, plus having a license to cbs owned stations, how was he able to maintain control? keach: that is the $6 billion question. especially because some of the are noton the board who the ones you listed -- he had good friends on the board. cbs producers who would go over to his house every sunday. they knew the situation. one of them who just passed away went into his house and took --eo in january of last year this year, to prove to the world he is not ok. we will see whether it will ever see the light of day.
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your question is, how to the board members not know? that is my biggest question. brian: or do they now? keach: he was very ill. toward the end of his public boardwhen a lot of members were there, but some of them have been there many years. i think it's impossible the top people at the company did not know that he was not really capable of making these decisions. the official position of the family to this day is that he still has mental capacity. -- add to this that cbs had to fire les moonves, who ran cbs network for sexual harassment. then you read this book -- i'm not even going to come close to getting all the details. how do people like this keep a federal license to run television stations across the
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united states and have one of the most important networks in television history? keach: this book sort of ends before the cbs fight, but there was a viacom fight and then a cbs fight and they are very similar. brian: two separate corporations. keach: two separate corporations, but the redstone's control both of them. that fundamental question of where was the oversight, many people said -- this book ends -- viacom stock price nearly dropped by half. everyone on wall street was wondering, what is the ceo doing? , who would have fired a ceo for a wobble in stock price? he was not really there. we see the same thing with cbs now. it is a question that will not
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go away. it was raised during the litigation this year over les moonves. , diduestion was raised sherry redstone come to power in an appropriate way? is everyone telling the truth about sumner's capacities? i think we will hear that again before it's all over, even though people have tried to push it aside and there have been settlements in these lawsuits. it is still there. brian: when you dug into this book, what did you learn for the first time? keach: my favorite thing i learned was sumner's father, mickey redstone, had been a bootlegger. national amusements was founded to say don't want criminal enterprise, but there were criminals involved. it's not completely unusual for a company to have underworld associations, but i did not understand how deep the
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underworld associations that led to national amusements were. businessdstone's partner was a really famous bookie. the fbi finally gave me my request 15 months after i filed it, and it shows him receiving payments from the theaters the redstone's owned up until the 50's. , it isa full partner pretty clear, in the foundation of national amusements. brian: why did it take 15 months to get your foia request? keach: the wheels of government grind slowly. amusementsational and the ownership of the movie theaters. how important were they to sumner redstone accumulate in all this? keach: very important. that was the foundation on which this is all based. sumner love to say he is a self-made man.
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he is absolutely a brilliant legal mind and deserves credit for that. much like donald trump, who took over his father's company. his father built this chain of these, drive-in theaters then turned into indoor theaters and multiplexes. they bought the land underneath the theaters so they could flip them. that is what sumner came into. he took that entity and used it, use leverage to take over viacom. without the land purchases and the foundation mickey created, sumner would not have been able to become a media mogul. brian: was there anything about national amusements when it owned just theaters? keach: about the actual company, i do not think so. they had this very quiet partner who was in and out of prison and who had been convicted.
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-- they co-invested in casinos with various members of the new england mob. a lot of associations, but national amusements itself, there is no evidence they were doing something illegal. brian: another paragraph from your book on page 178. sumner had become a holy terror to people around him. he was known to throw a stick across the room. across the room when he found it not cook to his lightning -- liking. le cirque andfrom elios in new york. once aboard company plane he threw a turkey leg at a flight attendant. keach: people around sumner -- a
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lot of them had something like ptsd. i actually loved to tell the stories of his abuse. he was a pretty abusive boss. he was also very smart, also very funny, but everyone seemed to have a sumner story they could not wait to tell. he was not like any other person. he had a rational fits of rage. he yelled at his subordinates the great deal. when that happens to you, it is not hard to find people wanting to tell you the story. brian: this has been going for a long time, but how many people has he fired? he famously fired all these ceos, right? viacom,er ceo of another former ceo of viacom -- he tried to fire tom cruise, even though tom cruise did not really work for him. he made this statement he was going to fire tom cruise from
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paramount pictures. he loved to push people out the minute he sensed this loyalty. brian: you suggested frank beyond the, who was the ceo of viacom, he did not like the fact he would not go to dinner with him, he was a normal guy who drove in from the bronx river he lived, he wanted him -- the bronx or wherever he lived, he wanted him to live a different life. keach: when he bought paramount pictures, this long-standing goal of his, that was the most wonderful gift. he could go out to dinner with all these people in hollywood and be this hollywood figure. he likes to have dinner very early especially as he got older. that was his social life, to hang out with his executives. a lot of people said he did not have real friends. i do not think that is a fair assessment. i have spoken to people who really were his friends. but he did not have a lot of them. a lot of his socializing was through his company.
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brian: how much is he worth today? about a billion of the last estimate. track, you to keep have so many names in this book. how much money did they walk away with? keach: $150 million between the two of them. brian: why? keach: he give them gifts. a lot of litigation in subsequent years has been about that. he gave each of them about $75 million. there was one day he gave each of them $45 million in a single day. it was sometime around that moment his family, which had been estranged from him, realized they cannot let this continue. they began to talk to each other and they befriended the nurses around him and started getting
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information about what's going on inside the mansion. that in some ways led to the ouster of one of them. brian: this may be a stretch, but he owns simon & schuster? the book publisher? they published bob woodward's book, fear. he owns cbs television and all the programs. they have gone after the president of the united states. to doives them the right this when they have in their midst somebody that should be investigated who owns it? keach: well, he is a private businessman. people around this world say -- this is how they deal with this question. he stepped off the board under great pressure. brian: when? keach: february of 2016, i think.
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that was in the midst of this manuela.r masn -- he finally stepped down from the board and handed over these negative chairmanship to the respective ceos. people close to the company would say he is not technically on the board anymore. the have updated, made these changes to the bylaws of national amusements so that he does not have the ultimate say. you really have to stand on one leg and squint to see this logic. that he is only one vote among seven of the board members of national amusements. there's the board of the company and the board of national amusements, a private entity no one can see inside.
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among seven.e vote even if he did not have his marbles, he would only be one vote. the problem with that is he personally still owns 80% of the stock of that entity. it is really strange that he is not in control legally. brian: one of the stories told so often about him that you write about is the story of the fire at the hotel in boston. when did it happen? in hish of what he told own memoir was true? keach: it was 1979. he was staying on the third floor of a beautiful hotel in boston. there was a fire that broke out in the hallway. a couch had caught fire. the way he tells the story is that he woke up, he smelled smoke, he went to the door as
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you should never do if you are in a hotel fire, he opened the door, flames burst in, he tried to get to the window, would not open, finally found a window that open, he hung outside waiting for the fire trucks to come pick him up. brian: what floor? keach: third floor. as the flames were burning the flesh off his hands. it is true he was very badly burned in the fire. people that he would not live. he had to have hours of incredibly painful surgery. he did almost died. -- die. he opens his autobiography with this story everyone knew about. this is a parable that was supposed to show what a tenacious guy he was. what a superhuman tough guy he was. that's how he acted in negotiations. it was a perfect metaphor. that part of it is really true. ittells the story, it makes
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sound like he was alone in the hotel room. he was not. he was with his longtime mistress, who at that point he had been with at least a decade. got up first, got out first, went down the ladder, she only had a black and some. -- blackened thumb. it was in the boston globe the next day that both of them were in the hospital. there is news footage of both of them climbing down the ladder. it was not really a secret. brian: so he did not hang by his hand -- keach: he hung by his hand in the letter came eventually. brian: how long did he hang? keach: he claims at least 10 minutes. that's his version of the story. it's a little bit hard, because how did she get out first? , he versions of the story
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nobly allowed her to go on the ledge. the other weird thing i found out is that he was he was in a room adjoining the guy he was there to celebrate, a warner bros. executive who was also in a room with a woman not his wife , and they both died of smoke inhalation in the hallway. brian: when did you find that out in your research? keach: as i was rummaging around trying to understand who was there. i have tried to call around all the people who had any contact with the story. brian: if i understand right, he was with his mistress for decades the same time he was married twice. explain all that. how long was he married to the first woman? keach: phillips, his longtime , his longtimes
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wife, that is the mother of his children. my research -- he was not a very constant husband. he cheated on her a fair amount. there was a lot of fighting. they tried to divorce each other multiple times. one of my favorite things i discovered was that she was not just a mistress. she was a second family. he was with her for decades. he was like a father to her children. she had four children. one of her children actually named her child's middle name sumner. brian: did phyllis know about her? keach: there was fighting about it at the home. that was part of what made such a tense place to grow up for -- sh the relationship was so interesting because she was a writer. a very serious story writer.
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she had published a novel on shot simon & schuster. she gave him culture, she stood up to him, no one else stood up to him. i really believe she is what gave him the confidence that he had, the taste that he could make bets on the movie studios. he started to do this investing on what movies he thought were good. , you gete an executive advanced view of the movies. he would do that. he got confident enough in that he would buy stock in a movie studio if he thought their movies were good. he made a killing that way. that is the money he used to take over viacom. i believe it was this relationship with her that gave him the confidence to do that. brian: is she alive? keach: she is not. brian: is phyllis? keach: she is. brian: how much money did
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phyllis get? keach: phyllis had the opportunity to get what some thought would be the largest divorce settlement in the history of america. some $3 billion. in the end they came to a copper compromise she would not take away half of his assets even though she had the right and he was worried she was going to do that. they would put all the assets in a trust and she would get the income -- half the income from the trust in her lifetime. when they pass away, that trust would go -- would be controlled by these seven trustees. phyllis is doing fine, but she did not manage to take away half his assets, which would have meant he lost control of cbs and viacom. brian: who actually can you tell us talk to you directly? allow you to quote them? keach: there's a fair amount of quotes from tom preston, the ceo
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of viacom. the former ceo of five, as well as the former ceo philippe. and sherry redstone, although i make clear that was done for the newspaper a couple years before i started doing the book. there's also various redstone's here and there. karen redstone, sumner's granddaughter was quoted several times. as well as some cousins. brian: who gets the $6 billion he is worth? keach: the grandchildren. brian: just the grandchildren? what about sherry redstone enter brother? -- and her brother? keach: it is set up for the benefit of the grandchildren. sherry would be one of the trustees that would control it, but the actual payout or
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--tever is set up brian: who decide to the trustees are? keach: sherry has been influential recently. it was originally -- it came out of a divorce discussion, so it was people on phyllis' side or sumner's side. originally their kids were both on their. there was a falling out between sumner and his son, who moved to colorado and does not want to see any of these people ever again. a lot of it is just lawyers. they have their voice -- divorce lawyer there. lawyers they trust. at this point it is national amusements that really can choose. it is ultimately up to sherry. brian: it is a shock to me to find out -- is 60 years old. and on the compensation committee and she is the anchor
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of inside edition. what is she doing there in that capacity? sumner made some interesting choices about who was going to be on the board of those companies. she is not on the board anymore, i don't think. i could be wrong about that. she was part of a group that was overturned. brian: online -- i can't keep up with it all. she went on in 2013 i believe. keach: i think she is part of the group that was ousted in the end. there are many interesting choices on the boards of those companies. sherry has tried to do is professionalize the boards a little bit. get people with more media experience.
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paula.second wife keach: paula is such an interesting character in this whole thing. she was not the first wife and shame was not one of these hollywood women that he ultimately ran with. she was in the middle. she was a schoolteacher in new york who had never had kids and was set up on a blind date. it actually seems like a very sweet story. it seems very genuine that they fell in love and got married and were married for a handful of years. effort to say it was an amicable divorce. even when he was with the other two girlfriends, he would always pick her up dinner at a restaurant and bring it to her.
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they never really cut ties. brian: they had a prenup, of course. keach: oh yes. brian: how much did you walk away with? keach: i think it was $1 million or $2 million. maybe up to $5 million. not the double-digit millions the later women got. brian: you quotes in there, sumner redstone saying i enjoy recognition. [laughter] keach: it is so true. i think that was his mother who ultimately did that to him. who made him feel like he always had to be number one. there was no number two. i also think it was boston latin school that the number on him. i got to know it very well researching this. it is the oldest public school in the country. they have this wall in the auditorium of their many signers of the constitution, these great
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patriots, their name in gold lettering. the application for the students who get in there is, you need to get your name on this wall. his name onhave that wall, but there is a lower wall for people who donate. he bought his way onto the wall. brian: what is his education? keach: he went to boston latin and then to harvard and harvard law. smart guy. brian: he practiced law? keach: he did. he thought he was going to save the world through public service. he left harvard law and got the clerkship, the federal clerkship. he actually went to work at the justice department for a little while. during a time when the justice department was breaking up the studio system through the 49.mount decision 1948 and that is when they decided you cannot have a movie studio and also run movie theaters. they broke up paramount.
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this company that was vertically integrated. that decision ended up having a huge impact in his business dealings the rest of his life. >> what years would that have been? keach: he would have been -- the late 1940's. all the way through to 1951, when he went into part -- private practice. he did that for a few years. that was the beginning of his disillusionment with the law. he realized, this is not saving the law. if i'm going to go into business, i want to go into business for myself. the family business where his brother and father had been working for decades together already. he became a theater executive. brian: people were upset with -- why wouldfor they be upset with him? what was his prior visibility?
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keach: he actually had had political ambitions. he was a campaign cochairman for musky. at musky. he was a democrat. in normal, middle-of-the-road democrat, i would say. said, ifn who knew him he was not jewish, he would be president. that was one of the business partners who said that about him. he had some political ambitions. as he got older he got more conservative. some people said it had to do with israel policy. he is from a jewish family. i think he disappointed people with that conservative turn. brian: how much was the iraq war part of his support of george w. bush? keach: i think it was before that he did it. if my timing is right, it was
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before that was part of bush's narrative. maybe all the facts were not in about bush at that point. brian: i'm going to test whether or not you can pronounce the drankf tea compress and that you pointed out. [laughter] i want to know what it's about. keach: it is a psychedelic. it is a hallucinogen from latin later in his career, he had tried it. he is the ceo of mtv. he built mtv from the beginning. and turned it into this global juggernaut. bands. out with the he was sort of a hipster guy. that was a little detail i put in there to show you what a hipster he was. brian: a little insider thing most people will care about --
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for years, john lack was the guy who started mtv and a lot of people would say bob pittman started mtv. you just said tom preston made it. where do they fit into all this? keach: if someone said, who is the true father? john lack is the first. pittman is the one who put it on the map. pittman ultimately left. preston used to be deputy to pittman, took it and made it a global juggernaut. made a huge international cable powerhouse. he was there for decades. all of them can credibly say they created an shaped mtv, but that is the house tom preston built. brian: tell us what the impact of mtv has been on this country. keach: mtv did several things.
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it created cable along with cnn and hbo. it was 1981. . one of the first cable channels. ofwas an anchor in the idea -- we used to call it narrowcast cable. a channel that had a specific voice you would tune into not because a certain show was on, but because of what it stood for or the overall brand of the channel. that idea was replicated 500 times into the giant cable bundle we now see today. when i started covering television, six years ago, that was still at the peak of its existence. perspective,s this but from a cultural perspective, there is no way to sum up how important it was. it was a youth cultural voice of this country for at least the last quarter of the 20th century. today it is still trying to be a
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youth cultural voice, but because the cable apparatus it , ited create is crumbling is having to get creative about doing that. brian: i was going to quote you suggesting that crumbling pay-tv castle falls into the scene. do you think it will happen? keach: i do. it is happening right now. email,rning i saw in my 975,000, nearly one million by pay-tvs were lost companies in the last quarter. that is extraordinary. has been going down by 2%, 3% per year. i think we will live in a place where less than half of the population subscribes to cable pretty soon. that is going to happen soon. brian: what happens to sumner redstone's $6 billion? keach: that is a good question.
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the banking and wall street communities assumes cbs and viacom will have to be sold, one way or another. whether they are going to be merged as a sherry redstone has been trying to do for three years, first, and then sold, or sold one off, they are just not big enough to survive in this world where we see their rival, foxey, gobbled up most of and is going to take a run at netflix to build its own direct to consumer player. enormously expensive in content cost and technology costs. this is not something you can have a bunch of small companies competing to do. brian: one thing i wrote down is everyone switched sides. did -- what side was sherry redstone on? his son brent -- keach: yes. brian: what do you mean by
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switch sides? keach: one of the weirder moments, this is a book made of lawsuits. there are constantly lawsuits and trials happening all the time. view in thent of main lawsuit in this book, the power struggle over viacom, was my father has capacity. she has amazing lines where right after the coup happens that kicked felipe off the trust , she said i respect my father's decisions and his right to make them, something like that. she was on the side saying, my father has capacity. philippe was on the side of saying, he does not have capacity. after that fight happens, there was a fight between the redstone's to get the money back. try to get their $150 million back. if you follow the logic of those lawsuits, they say these women
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swindled for sumner -- poor sumner into giving them $150 million. in order for that to be possible , he has to have something close to not having capacity. sherry denies she is behind those lawsuits. whether it is sherry, whether it see there is a conflict between those points. either he has capacity or he doesn't. brian: paint a picture. he is in los angeles. does he have a feeding tube? keach: yes. brian: he is 95 years old. can't do anything more with his money. is he a happy man? not a happy man? do you have any idea whether the relationship with the different women continues? the women that are gone, delay have the $7 million in hand?
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have the $75 million in hand? keach: there has been a settlement with one who had to pay some back. the fighting with the other one continues. we will see. he is not especially well. his family is around him, which is a better situation than was happening before. brian: how much has that had to do with the fact they want the money? keach: i think that is un-shareable. family should be together. regardless -- brian: the life he lived, the women, the divorces, the mistresses -- keach: totally. brian: the family should still be loyal? keach: i don't know about loyal. there were many years he did not see his family much. there was tension between the women. now this particular women are gone and the family is with him
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a little bit more. there are still some women that come in and out. they basically our family approved women. brian: i guess my question, and it is crass to ask, would they be there if there was not money at the end of the rainbow? keach: i think they would. i have gotten to know this world. sherry redstone does love her father. everyites him these poems year for his birthday. that she wantsis so desperately to be loved by him and that he was unable to ever really show her love. , itthat she can be with him is a scratching an itch she has had a long time in her life. brian: would you say she came out on top of all this? keach: she is a redstone.
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she is a lawyer. she is smart. she played her hand very well. brian: another quote from the book. i think he said this to tom preston. i think we are alone in this life. keach: he said that to another viacom executive. that was such a telling moment. that is how -- that is really how he thought. people who knew him said he did not have many friends. he saw everything as transactional. he treated his family like it was a transaction. everything had to be negotiated through lawyers. they communicated through faxes sometimes. i tried to find the original source of conflict between father and daughter. sumner and sherry had a fraught
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relationship. ultimately, that is how he felt. he had been divorced from his wife or was estranged from his wife. he had this transactional relationship with his children. his son was in the process of moving to caliph -- to colorado. he was alone. you havewrote down worked in politico, you have worked for cbs, the village voice, the queens chronicle, and you went to stanford. which has had the biggest influence on you? >> the village voice. i was an intern for this investigative journalist who wrote the first book on donald trump many years ago and who passed away last year on the eve of trumps election, actually. he taught me everything i know. brian: how did you get from
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indiana to stanford and then to new york city? what drove you to do that? keach: i went to stanford right out of high school. i wanted to go to california. , asas nice to see the world delightful and beautiful as indiana is. i want to go straight to new york after college. i studied literature and art and it seemed like all the good literature and art was in new york city. i want to be part of that. brian: how old are your children? keach: two and four. brian: when did you meet your husband and how? keach: my fellow internet the village voice. -- intern at the village voice. he introduced me to his college roommate who is now my husband. brian: how did you get your job at the wall street journal?
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from -- het an mail was working for news corp.. he said there is this new opening. do you want to check it out? i took the train to new york and that was that. brian: how many years? keach: almost seven. brian: these pages are hard to even cover hand. -- comprehend. mickey died suddenly. later death stalked the redstone's. who was mickey and what was his relationship to sumner? --ch: he was sumner's father let's see. when did mickey died? what year was this? brian: i don't see a number on the page. could have been near 87. keach: that was right around the
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time he bought viacom. mickey and his mom died within months of each other. they got to see him begin to take over viacom, but they did not see the final thing. obas struck by in mikie's it, it never mentions via, all even though his son had just --en over one of the biggest viacom at all even though his son had just taken over one of the biggest media companies. your daughter is named bell. did you name her bell because of finding the name here? keach: i did not. bell is my mother's name. just a weird coincidence. brian: you probably have not looked at this page for a while.
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ruth and dies. dies.h anne anne is the daughter of sumner's brother. was a familyements business. it was mickey, eddie, and sumner running it. mickey wanted to pass the business down to his grandkids. side, and friends on one sumner's kids -- sherry and brent on one side, sumner's kids, and eddie's kids. what happened to all of them except for sherry is tragic and awful. ruth anne joined the children of in cold in the 70's -- cult the 70's. she went to south america and was never heard from again.
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her family hired these the programmers. they lobbied local officials to pass anti-cult legislation. they never really got her back. tokyo.ed up dying in they got a call from the consulate saying, what should we do with the child? what child? she had a three-year-old son. gabriel adam redstone. who of course was an air to a fortune they did not know about. they went over and got him and brought him up. almost immediately after that, leela died. brian: bell dies, leela dies. there is so much we have not gotten to, as you know. a lot of the intricacies of how they bought the different entities. what year did he buy cbs and how
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did he get it? keach: that was 1999, 2000. it was very hard for him to take over viacom. that was a fight. by the time he went after cbs, he had already gobbled up paramount. in 2000, he just had a friendly meeting with the head of cbs and they merged. it was not a fraught thing. that was the largest media deal in u.s. history. it would soon be eclipsed. brian: do you have any idea how whether it is paramount or showtime or nickelodeon or simon & schuster, did he have any personal impact on those organizations? keach: he really believed in mtv. when he was trying to take over hippie kids at mtv friended him, including bob
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pittman and tom preston and smuggled him inside the building and said, this is mtv. he fell in love with the energy and really believed in the promise. wasould see that this thing just going to be like a rocket ship. as he was the head of the company, after he ended up taking over, he really believed had at business and yet hands-off approach, let his people run without too much micromanaging. people who work for him, as strange as it might sound with all the firings, said he was a pleasure to work for from a business perspective. brian: how long did you spend writing this book? keach: about two years. brian: what is the impact of money? on this whole group of people you write about. keach: i think it is corrosive
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and sad, honestly. ruth anne is the best example. she watched her father be pushed out of the family business. she watched her father and grandfather and uncle fighting about money. she said, this is disgusting. i'm going to give all of my money to this cult. full, itate in the been nothing but fighting about money for decades -- the ones who stayed in the full -- fold, it has been nothing but fighting about money for decades. if these people ran a dry cleaners, would they be happier? brian: did it sell what you wanted to sell? keach: i have been surprised, yes. brian: if you had to write another book on somebody, who would you pick? keach: that is tough. about asay i don't know
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character, but i'm very interested in the duopoly. the facebook-google duopoly and its impact on media. brian: how many stories a week to write for the wall street journal? average. keach: it really depends. lately i been trying to do more enterprise stories. i write fewer stories, but less often. i don't always a company that. i probably end up writing three stories week. :rian: "the king of content sumner redstone's battle for everlasting control of his media empire." our guest has been keach hagey. thanks for joining us. keach: thanks for having me. ♪
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announcer: for free transcripts or to give us your comments about this program, visit us at q&a. work q&a programs are also available as c-span podcasts. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] announcer: next sunday on two ,"d a, james grant -- on "q&a the threat caused by the expanding national debt. that is "q&a" next sunday on c-span. >> c-span's "washington journal," live every day with issues that impact you.
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monday morning, washington post national political reporter and pbs host robert costa reviews the week ahead. then we will review the new federal law requiring hospitals to post prices of procedures online with the president of the nonprofit consumer group fair health. fisher to watch "washington journal" 7:00 eastern monday morning. join the discussion. announcer: british parliament has been in recess for the holidays. prime minister's questions returns this wednesday at 7:00 a.m. eastern on c-span two. or watch it sunday night at 9:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. to find video of past prime minister's questions and other british public affairs programs. >> massachusetts senator elizabeth warren made her first trip to iowa.
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and then a roundtable. -- then a chance to see talking about her biography of sumner redstone. on saturday, senator elizabeth warned of massachusetts spoke to supporters in des moines, iowa. to theher first visit early caucus state since announcing the formation of an exploratory committee on the 2020 presidential bid. this is about an hour. elizabeth warren made her first trip to iowa this weekend as a potential 2020 presidential candidate, just days after formally launching an exploratory committee. the senator visited several cities around the state. she spoke to democrats at one event hosted by the exploratory committee. >> hello, des moines. [cheers and applause] >> the bad news is i have caught a cold. the good news is -- nevertheless, i persist.


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