An article in The Daily Beast that was critical of Sumner Redstone, the majority stakeholder of both CBS and Viacom, has prompted the 87-year old to offer to make the story’s reporter "well-rewarded" if he would give up his source, reports The Daily Beast’s Peter Lauria, who wrote the original piece and was the recipient of an almost 3-minute voice mail from Redstone.
In the message, Redstone, perhaps seeking to reassure Lauria about his intentions toward the leaker, says, "We’re not going to kill him. We just want to talk to him." You can hear the entire voicemail below.
Lauria, who previously was a long-time media business reporter at the New York Post, notes that he will never give up a source.
The original June 2 piece that Lauria wrote details Redstone’s fondness for younger ladies and his personal $500,000 investment in an all-woman band called the "Electric Barbarellas," which "is basically a group of unknown women who caught Redstone’s eye" and about which he’s created a reality show.
In his most recent piece Lauria writes, "Sources inside Viacom and others involved with or briefed on the project told me last month that the show was unwatchable and the music just as bad, but that Redstone, who makes no secret of his enjoying the company of women several decades his junior, was insisting MTV pick it up."
Separately, Viacom is now trying to distance itself from Redstone regarding the incident, reports the Wall Street Journal [Note: The WSJ is behind a firewall and you may be asked to pay to read this article.]
“There is no investigation at Viacom,” spokesman Carl Folta says, according to the WSJ article. “We are not trying to find out who the leaker is.”
Here’s the unbelievable voicemail that Redstone left Lauria: