US media mogul Summer Redstone has passed away at the age of 97. Redstone took over his father’s drive-in movie theatre business National Amusements and turned it into a multi-billion dollar cinema and media empire like Viacom, Paramount Pictures, CBS Corp and MTV.
Summer Redstone is credited with helping save cinema by developing the multiplex model in the 1960s, bringing movies into shopping malls and having more than one screen per site. His company eventually spanned the worlds of film, TV and publishing.
It controlled TV networks Comedy Central and Nickelodeon and the Blockbuster video rental chain, and helped usher programmes like The Big Bang Theory and CSI into US homes, and blockbusters like Titanic and Top Gun to the silver screen. The news of his death was confirmed on Wednesday by ViacomCBS.
Chief executive Bob Bakish described Redstone as “a brilliant visionary, operator and dealmaker, who single-handedly transformed a family-owned drive-in theatre company into a global media portfolio”. “He was a force of nature and fierce competitor.”
Shari Redstone, his daughter described her father as an incredible man with a rich famikly legacy. “My father led an extraordinary life that not only shaped entertainment as we know it today, but created an incredible family legacy. “Through it all, we shared a great love for one another and he was a wonderful father, grandfather and great-grandfather.”
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