National Amusements: Time to talk to the bank

October 17, 2008

redstone2.jpgAnother day, another twist in the latest Sumner Redstone drama. This time, the media mogul’s company, National Amusements, announced that it’s having sit-downs with its lenders over some debt covenants? What are the covenants? And how much debt to they cover? Nobody outside of the company seems quite sure at this point.

What we do know, is that all of this has been caused by the sharp drop in CBS and Viacom shares — since they are worth far less as assets than they were a a month ago, we assume that some debt-to-assets ratio has become a problem.

What does this mean for Viacom and CBS? Not much, in the short term. Stock of both were steady to slightly higher in early trade. But it does underscore what’s at stake for Redstone, and probably turns up the heat on the companies to perform better and get the stock price moving higher.

Keep an eye on: 

  • Google Inc profits surpassed Wall Street quarterly forecasts, as the Internet search and advertising leader held deepening economic gloom at bay (Reuters)
  • NBC Universal’s Spanish-language television operation has cut 85 jobs, reducing its workforce 5 percent (LA Times)
  • The final U.S. presidential debate was watched by about 11 percent fewer Americans than watched the “town hall” format the week before (AdAge
  • CBS College Sports said Thursday that it was laying off nearly one-quarter of its staff, or about 30 employees (NY Times)
  • Tribune Company has given a two-year notice to the Associated Press that its daily newspapers plan to drop the news service, becoming the first major newspaper chain to do so since the recent controversy over new rates began (Editor & Publisher)

(Photo: Reuters)

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