Viacom, Redstone’s National Amusements Resume Deep Settlement Talks

Viacom Inc. and Sumner Redstone’s National Amusements Inc. are back in deep talks toward a settlement that would end their litigation, reshape the company’s board and lead to the exit of Viacom Chairman and Chief Executive Philippe Dauman, according to people familiar with the matter. The parties recently resumed talks after failing to reach a deal last month. The talks are delicate and could lead to a swift agreement or fall apart altogether, the people said. Under the terms being discussed, Viacom Chief Operating Officer Tom Dooley would succeed Mr. Dauman as CEO. While in earlier discussions, the idea was that he would serve in an interim capacity, it is unclear now whether there would be any timeline on his appointment. One major sticking point to a deal is that several Viacom directors are negotiating terms of their exit from the board—and some want to stay on for several months after a settlement is reached, the people familiar with the matter said. Besides Mr. Dauman, the other board members who would be replaced are George S. Abrams, Blythe J. McGarvie, Frederic V. Salerno and William Schwartz.

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