CBS Corp. and Viacom Executive Chairman Sumner M. Redstone Friday joined such fellow media moguls as Walt Disney, Ted Turner and Lew Wasserman with stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Redstone received the 2,467th star in connection with the yearlong celebration of the 100th anniversary of the founding of Viacom-owned Paramount Pictures.
In his brief acceptance speech, Redstone said his journey from being a youth living in a tenement on a dirty, cobblestone street in Boston's West End "to this remarkable event" was torturous, long and sometimes hard.
"But it was always exciting," Redstone said at the late-morning ceremony in front of the Hollywood Roosevelt hotel. "It was always a happy thing for me. It was always rewarding, not withstanding its difficulties."
Viacom President and Chief Executive Officer Philippe Dauman introduced Redstone, likening him to Paramount founder Adolph Zukor, who also went from exhibiting films to heading a company making them.
"Sumner Redstone is like Adolph Zukor in his day — a great American pioneer," Dauman said. "Sumner shaped the modern media industry, based entirely on his own brilliance and foresight, combined with his relentless drive and desire to achieve and his passion to win.
"Sumner, the king of content, is, without a doubt, an elemental force of nature and I can personally attest to that," the CEO added. "His energy and enthusiasm are legendary as (is) his ability to motivate and inspire everyone around him. He is not afraid to set a bold and uncharted course and he has the unshakable courage and conviction to stay that course."
Dauman also called Redstone "a dreamer of big dreams" and described him as "creative and optimistic, brilliant and brash."
Born May 27, 1923, in Boston, the Harvard-educated Redstone was initially a lawyer, including a stint as special assistant to the attorney general.
In 1954, Redstone joined the movie theater company founded by his father Michael, National Amusements Inc., becoming its CEO and president in 1967 and chairman of the board in 1986, a position he continues to hold.
Redstone won voting control of Viacom, the owner of the MTV and Nickelodeon cable channels and a leading television syndicator, in 1987 following a hostile takeover.
Viacom acquired Paramount Communications in 1993 and merged with CBS in 2000. CBS and Viacom were separated into two publicly traded companies in 2006, with Redstone remaining chairman of both.
Viacom's holdings also include the Comedy Central, VH1, Nick at Nite, TV Land and BET cable channels. In addition to its namesake television network, the CBS Corp. also includes The CW television network; Showtime cable channel; CBS Outdoor, a billboard, outdoor media and transit advertising business; and publisher Simon & Schuster.
— City News Service