CBS and National Amusements in talks to settle litigation: source

(Reuters) – CBS Corp (CBS.N) is in settlement talks with Shari Redstone and her family’s holding company National Amusements Inc over litigation for the control of the television and media company, a source familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.

Shari Redstone arrives for Variety’s Power of Women luncheon in New York City, U.S., April 21, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Details of the settlement talks could not be ascertained and could still change, the source said.

A settlement would potentially end the long-running saga over the future of CBS and Viacom, which owns the MTV cable network and Paramount studios.

FILE PHOTO – The CBS “eye” and logo are seen outside the CBS Broadcast Center on West 57th St. in Manhattan, New York, U.S., April 29, 2016. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

CBS Chief Executive Leslie Moonves has been locked in a legal battle over control of CBS with National Amusements, the company’s largest shareholder, owned by Shari Redstone and her father Sumner who also control media company Viacom (VIAB.O).

News of the settlement talks was first reported by Deadline Hollywood, a media industry website.

The trial is scheduled to begin on October 3 in Delaware.

The Wall Street Journal reported that CBS, which owns the CBS television network and Showtime cable network, would agree to drop its attempt to strip voting control from National Amusements, CBS’s majority shareholder.

Meanwhile, National Amusements would agree to abstain from pushing for a merger between CBS and Viacom, the Journal reported, citing sources familiar with the matter.

In April, before CBS sued National Amusements, Redstone’s holding company had dropped support for a merger, according to legal filings.

In July, in the midst of the fight, CBS said that it had hired outside counsel to investigate accusations of sexual misconduct against Moonves.

Moonves said at the time that he “may have made some women uncomfortable by making advances,” which he called mistakes that he regretted immensely, but that he understood “‘no’ means ‘no’” and never used his position to harm anyone’s career.

Reporting by Liana Baker and Kenneth Li in New York and Akanksha Rana in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber

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