Sumner Redstone’s Mogul Swashbuckling Typified A Bygone Corporate Media Era

The reminders came often from Sumner Redstone, self-made architect of a vast media empire.

“Viacom is me,” he once told Fortune magazine. “I’m Viacom. That marriage is eternal, forever.”

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“I’m in control!” he chided Mel Karmazin in a nationally televised news conference as the executive tried to outline his vision for the newly merged Viacom and CBS. “Remember — I’m in control!”

The late Frank Biondi Jr., who engineered a series of key deals in the 1980s and ’90s as Viacom CEO, once acknowledged to the New Yorker‘s Ken Auletta that it could be frustrating toiling in semi-obscurity. “Sumner is the embodiment of this place,” he shrugged.

Redstone, who died Wednesday at age 97, personified more than just a single company. He came to represent a media and entertainment era when deeply flawed, nakedly ambitious, larger-than-life personalities single-handedly set the agenda.

“Sumner Redstone was, for all

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The corporate rebrands that missed the mark

A shattered Google logo
A shattered Google logo

Fiat Chrysler’s $50bn (£40bn) merger with PSA Group will create a new corporate entity called “Stellantis”, the carmakers announced on Wednesday, a word “rooted in the Latin verb ‘stello’ meaning to brighten with stars”. 

The businesses added that the new title “draws inspiration from this new and ambitious alignment of storied automotive brands and strong company cultures that in coming together are creating one of the new leaders in the next era of mobility”.

It is not uncommon for companies to rebrand, to signify a change in the corporate culture of the company; the leadership team, to communicate a brand’s new vision and message. But some name changes are better than others. Here are some of the more interesting rebrands of the past few years.

Yahoo to Oath to Verizon Media Group

When Verizon Communications bought Yahoo in 2017, it announced that it would bring AOL

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