Redstone rips Rupert Murdoch over print biz

Viacom chief belittles Wall Street Journal, Page Six

BEVERLY HILLS -- Sumner Redstone said his CBS-Viacom empire doesn't need a financial channel akin to CNBC or Fox Business Network, then for good measure he tossed a few insults at fellow media mogul Rupert Murdoch.

"He paid $5 billion for the Wall Street Journal without competition. And you know what? There won't be any newspapers in a few years," he told a crowd late Monday at the Milken Institute Global Conference.

"The difference between me and Murdoch is, he lives in ink and I live with movies and television," Redstone said. "Ink is going to go away, and movies and television will be here forever -- just like me."

Sharing a stage with Michael Milken and producer Brian Grazer, Redstone acknowledged he enjoyed reading newspapers, though not The New York Post, owned by Murdoch's News Corp. "You be careful who you are out with or you'll find yourself on Page Six," he cautioned

Redstone told of having his picture taken next to a woman at a restaurant and how the Post claimed he was romantically involved with her. But he was actually there with Tom Cruise.

"You have to be careful with any newspaper that Murdoch runs. He enjoys gossip, but not about himself."

Concerning movies, Redstone referred to the "3D revolution," and Grazer concurred, even though he had yet to make a 3D film. He said, though, that he is "expecting" that "Cowboys and Aliens," a co-production of Imagine Entertainment and DreamWorks, will be in 3D.

Redstone said "Titanic" reformatted for 3D is "the most incredible thing you ever saw. When the people are jumping off the boat, you see it in 3D. You've never seen anything like it."

But he said "Mission: Impossible IV" starring Tom Cruise will not be in 3D. Redstone once said Cruise's antics on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" and elsewhere had hurt the Mission: Impossible franchise, but the two have buried the hatchet.

"We're now friends again," he said. "Wait a minute. I always liked him, but he was behaving pretty badly. And also he had a deal with Paramount where he got $10 million a year for doing nothing. But recently he came up to me and he said he wants to come back."

The freewheeling, 90-minute presentation included several anecdotes from the three participants, like the time Grazer – seated near partner Ron Howard and astronaut Jim Lovell at the Academy Awards telecast -- thought Sidney Poitier was about to award him the best picture Oscar for "Apollo 13."

"I see the 'B' rolling off his lip. I think he's going to say "Brian,' so I start to get up and they say 'Braveheart.' Jim Lovell reached across to me and said, 'I never made it to the moon either'," Grazer said.

"Braveheart was my picture," Redstone said. "I'm very aware of that," Grazer responded.

"'Apollo' should have won," said Redstone, half jokingly.