It’s Midway or the highway for Redstone

December 1, 2008

Sumner Redstone is selling low — way low. Here’s The Wall Street Journal with the news:

In an effort to help resolve his debt problems, Sumner Redstone has sold his controlling stake in videogame company Midway Games Inc to a private investor.

Mr. Redstone’s holding company, National Amusements Inc., is expected to announce Monday that it sold its 87% stake in Midway to investor Mark Thomas, a move that represents a significant loss on the media mogul’s investment but secures a hefty tax benefit as he negotiates other asset sales.

Redstone has been discussing selling all sorts of assets, including movie theaters and his holding in slot machine company WMS Industries, the Journal said.

What next? Redstone already said he wouldn’t sell any more shares in Viacom and CBS to cover his debts. But the Journal says the Redstone family is discussing securing their outstanding debt ($1.6 billion) with their remaining assets. Let’s watch those stocks…

Keep an eye on

  • It’s Reuters Media Summit week in New York City, when we get a bunch of executives in a room and get them to tell us about how they’re negotiating the downturn. There will even be TV. (Reuters)
  • Call it dumb luck. We knew USA Today was going to cut 20 jobs in its newsroom, but one of our reporters on holiday shopping coverage found a business-side person at Gannett’s and the nation’s biggest paper who said there are going to be cuts on her side too. A Gannett spokeswoman confirmed that this will happen, but a spokeswoman for the paper wasn’t available to tell us how many will go.
  • Nearly everyone has written about Michael Wolff’s new Rupert Murdoch book. Here’s a quick link rundown. Janet Maslin’s review in The New York Times is quite interesting. For the others, there’s us, Bloomberg, the Financial Times, MarketWatch, The Independent and The Age.
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