Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Sumner Redstone's One Man Stimulus Program

Yesterday, reports surfaced that Viacom chairman Sumner Redstone gave the bi-curious lead singer of the all  girl-band the Electric Barbarellas, Heather Naylor, some of his own company stock as a personal gift.

Reportedly, Sumner also put pressure on Viacom-owned  MTV to create a reality-show following the group's attempt to break into the music business. The show is currently in development despite the objection of MTV executives, who felt the band lacked talent.

Naylor, btw, immediately sold Redstone's gift of stock for roughly $157,000, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

This wasn't the only step in Redstone's hiring binge. Today reports are surfacing that Redstone apparently gave Rohini Singh a gift of 2,522 shares of Class B Viacom stock that she sold in March for just under $77,000,

The 87-year-old billionaire also forced Showtime, CBS's pay-TV division, to put Singh, who is, according to NyPo, apparently unqualified, on the company's payroll.

Rohini Singh
Rohini Singh, No longer an unemployment statistic

Sources told The Daily Beast that Singh, a veteran of the LA club scene, was hired last summer in the publicity office of Showtime at the direction of Redstone himself -- much to the chagrin of network employees, who were in the midst of a hiring freeze, the website reported.

Redstone ordered Showtime execs to give Singh free rein to pick the job she wanted because of the billionaire's "personal relationship" with her, a former CBS insider told The Daily Beast. Showtime executives “at first tried to find something industrious for her to do,” the source said, adding that after a rotation in casting, programming, and other departments within the network, Singh landed in publicity, in part because her best asset is her ability to party.

If this keeps up, the sluggish unemployment picture will be over in no time.

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