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Guelph police admit error with media officers about MP Tabbara's arrest – CBC.ca

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The Guelph Police Service has admitted it made an error when it said a media officer was unaware Marwan Tabbara was a sitting Member of Parliament at the time of his arrest in April.

Tabbara, the MP for Kitchener South-Hespeler, west of Toronto, has been charged with two counts of assault, one count of break and enter and commit an indictable offence, and one count of criminal harassment. He was arrested on April 9.

CBC Kitchener-Waterloo contacted Guelph Police Service on the afternoon of June 4 asking if Tabbara had been charged. On the morning of June 5, media officer Const. Brian Murphy said the service “[does] not release details of ongoing investigations nor do we release names of individuals.”

Just after noon the same day, Murphy confirmed “the gentleman you’ve mentioned” had been charged.

In a news release on June 10, the Guelph Police Service defended a decision not to publicize Tabbara’s name at the time of his arrest.

“In this case, the arrest of Mr. Tabbara was not brought to the attention of the media office,” the release said.

‘Media frenzy’

But emails obtained through a Freedom of Information request by CBC Kitchener-Waterloo revealed the media officer was told about Tabbara’s arrest and that he was an MP.

An email dated April 10 from Const. Meg Hern to then-media officer Const. Kyle Grant said: “Just want you to have the heads-up the accused in [the case] is a federal MP so when and if it hits the news there could be a bit of a media frenzy.”

The documents noted subsequent to the media release on June 10, it was discovered the “media statement included an error, that being that the media officer on April 10, 2020 had, in fact, been made aware of the arrest of Tabbara by the arresting officer the day after the arrest was made.”

Tabbara’s arrest and subsequent charges did not make headlines until June 5, when CBC and other news agencies reported on it.

The service said a different officer took over the role of media officer on June 1 and that person “was unaware of the circumstances of the Tabbara matter.”

The service said it was discovered after the June 10 release that the media officer had been made aware of the arrest by the arresting officer; “however, it would not have impacted the manner in which this incident was dealt with by the media officer at the time.” 

That’s because the service generally does not release details, including identifying victims or suspects, in domestic cases.

The police service said executive members were not made aware of Tabbara’s arrest at the time and any decisions to release names or personal information is up to the chief.

Court appearance over Easter weekend

In response to a request for comment, Tabbara’s executive assistant Peter Maloney said the “simple reason” it appears Tabbara’s name wasn’t released was because the arrest and court appearance happened over the Easter long weekend.

When police returned to office activities on the Tuesday, “they seem to have chosen not to try to cover everything that happened over the three to four days of the weekend but rather just to post their usual report of police action highlights of the previous day,” he said.

“In any event, [the service’s] general practice appears to be not to publish the names of those persons charged unless there is a need to do so to alert the public to a potential danger,” Maloney wrote.

Ran in 2019 

Tabbara was first elected in 2015 and re-elected in 2019. He was allowed to run in 2019 despite the Liberals conducting an investigation into accusations he touched and made lewd comments to a female staffer.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said previously that the party was not made aware of the April charges until it was revealed in the media in early June 2020.

Tabbara has since stepped down from the Liberal caucus but remains a sitting MP.

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Media mogul Sumner Redstone dies at 97 – Nanaimo News NOW

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The elder Redstone’s battles with his own family were as dramatic as his corporate manoeuvrs. Son Brent Redstone once sued his father to break up his media empire — then settled for a princely sum to give up his voting shares.

A lanky man with a thick Boston accent, Redstone often told interviewers that “content is king.” And he was right. Despite sagging TV ratings at Viacom, his vast shareholdings in Viacom and CBS led Forbes magazine to estimate his net worth at $4.6 billion.

Besides being ruthless, Redstone was known for dogged determination. In 1979, he survived a fire at Boston’s Copley Plaza Hotel by gripping a third-floor window ledge with his right arm still inside. He suffered third-degree burns over half his body, his right wrist was nearly severed, and he was told he would never walk again. But he eventually recovered, and was even able to play tennis by strapping the racket to his wrist.

“I intend to live forever!” he told Upstart Business Journal in 2009.

Born in 1923 in Boston, Redstone was the oldest son of Michael and Belle Rothstein, who changed the family name to Redstone.

Redstone graduated first in his class from Boston Latin School in 1940 and completed his education at Harvard in less than three years. He was selected to work on an Army intelligence team during World War II that cracked Japan’s military codes.

After three years in the Army, he went to Harvard Law School and became a partner at a Washington law firm. He gave it up to join his father’s drive-in movie business in 1954. Redstone grew it into a major chain of multi-screen movie houses.

The privately held company became the base for his media empire, and the source of all his family’s feuds.

He made a killing by trading in the stocks of Hollywood studios and in 1987 — the year he turned 64 — bought Viacom in a hostile takeover for $3.4 billion, most of it borrowed, ousting founder Ralph Baruch as chairman.

Critics said that a cable network based on music videos was doomed, but Redstone disagreed and rebuffed efforts from the company’s bankers to unload the fledgling MTV. Instead, he expanded its reach, bringing it into Europe, Asia, Latin America and Russia.

Redstone next went after Paramount Pictures, a four-year process that ended with a friendly offer from Viacom for $10 billion in 1993. He scooped up the Blockbuster video rental chain for its then-healthy cash flow, not knowing then that videotape rentals would collapse.

Viacom then swallowed CBS Corp. for $34.5 billion in September 1999, then the largest media merger until the AOL-Time Warner union came months later.

The deal brought Redstone together with CBS chief Mel Karmazin, another tough-talking executive from humble origins. By June 2004, Karmazin was out, later to become head of Sirius Satellite Radio Inc. CBS and Viacom were split into two public companies both under his control in 2006.

Another victim of Redstone’s rise: Tom Cruise, whose couch-jumping on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” and embrace of Scientology led Redstone to cut short a deal with Cruise and his production company.

“We don’t think that someone who effectuates creative suicide and costs the company revenue should be on the lot,” he told The Wall Street Journal in 2006. The two later patched things up ahead of the making of “Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol.”

By 2010, Redstone’s hand in the business became unwelcome. He shepherded onto TV a show featuring a scantily-clad girl group, the Electric Barbarellas, over protests from within. The day it aired, MTV Networks CEO Judy McGrath resigned. Then he was scandalized further after reporter Peter Lauria made public a voicemail in which Redstone offered to bribe him to reveal the leaker of the story about his meddling.

Redstone was married and divorced twice — first to Phyllis Gloria Raphael, mother of his children — then to schoolteachers Paula Fortunato, a woman 39 years his junior.

In May 2015, he released a statement saying that after he dies, his ownership stakes in CBS and Viacom, through National Amusements, would be managed by a seven-person trust. The trust listed as trustees Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman, daughter Shari, her son Tyler Korff and four lawyers. It is for the benefit of his five grandchildren.

Redstone kicked Dauman and board member George Abrams out of the trust in May amid legal squabbling.

In late 2015, former companion Manuela Herzer sued Redstone after he kicked her out of his estate. The suit revealed a strange, secluded life in his Beverly Park mansion that included frequent demands for sex and steak.

The suit alleged Redstone was hospitalized numerous times in 2014, leaving him with a feeding tube, catheter and severe speech impediments. Herzer described him as a “living ghost.” A judge rejected the suit, but Herzer continued to pursue legal action against Shari Redstone, alleging criminal racketeering.

Shari Redstone was locked in a legal battle to merge CBS and Viacom. In May 2018, she sued CBS for trying to strip her of control in a series of manoeuvrs orchestrated by CBS CEO Les Moonves, who opposed the merger because it would be detrimental to non-Redstone CBS shareholders.

Her aim was reportedly to re-unite the companies and then sell them off or merge them with a third company.

Moonves was fired by the board after The New Yorker reported on allegations that he assaulted multiple women; Moonves denied the reports.

CBS and Viacom agreed to merge in 2019, undoing the split Redstone carried out 13 years earlier. National Amusements gave unanimous approval to the deal, with Redstone among the directors voting in favour.

___

Business Writer Seth Sutel in New York contributed to this report.

The Associated Press

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Billionaire Sumner Redstone, media mogul who headed Viacom, dead at 97 – TheChronicleHerald.ca

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By Helen Coster

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Viacom and CBS Chairman Emeritus Sumner Redstone, the media mogul who took his father’s movie theater chain and built it into an empire that included Paramount Pictures, CBS and MTV, has died at 97, ViacomCBS and National Amusements said on Wednesday.

Redstone, as executive chairman of both Viacom Inc and CBS Corp , had controlled the two companies through privately held National Amusements. But in his early 90s, the state of Redstone’s physical and mental health set off an avalanche of corporate maneuvering over his media holdings that resulted in him stepping down in 2016 as executive chairman of both companies.

CBS and Viacom were combined from 2000 to 2006, when Redstone separated them in an attempt to unleash the value of Viacom’s cable channels.

His position as one of the world’s leading media moguls had begun fading in 2015 as those close to him began questioning his mental capacity. The long-running legal battle that ensued put him at odds with a former girlfriend and long-time confidante Philippe Dauman but reunited him with his daughter Shari, from whom he had been estranged.

Shari Redstone said in a statement: “My father led an extraordinary life that not only shaped entertainment as we know it today, but created an incredible family legacy. Through it all, we shared a great love for one another and he was a wonderful father, grandfather and great-grandfather. I am so proud to be his daughter and I will miss him always.”

The challenges to Redstone’s mental health resulted in him being replaced as executive chairman at CBS by Les Moonves and at Viacom by Dauman, whom Redstone would later drop from the trust that was to determine the direction of CBS and Viacom after his death.

After legal and backroom wrangling that one observer likened to “Game of Thrones,” the Redstone family ousted Dauman from Viacom in August 2016, ultimately replacing him with Robert Bakish. Dauman had been among those questioning Redstone’s mental capacity and his influence had waned after Redstone’s daughter, Shari, started taking a more active role in his business.

Since 2016, Shari pushed twice to merge CBS and Viacom. She’s also weathered a lawsuit aimed at diluting her family’s control of CBS, and a sexual misconduct scandal at CBS, which resulted in the September 2018 resignation of CEO Les Moonves. Viacom and CBS re-merged in 2019.

Shari Redstone and her son Tyler Korff will now take over two seats on a trustee board that controls the voting interest in an entity, National Amusements Inc, that holds the controlling stake in ViacomCBS, according to a source familiar with the matter.

RISK TAKER

Redstone was born on May 27, 1923, into a Boston family that owned a chain of drive-in movie theaters. He graduated first in his class at Boston Latin High School, went through Harvard in three years and worked with an elite U.S. Army unit that cracked Japanese codes during World War Two.

After the war, he earned a law degree at Harvard and successfully pleaded a case before the U.S. Supreme Court. He joined National Amusements, his family’s theater chain, in 1954, and became chief executive officer in 1967.

Known for his blunt talk, Boston accent and audacious risk taking, Redstone was in his 60s in 1987 when he bought Viacom for $3.4 billion with mostly borrowed money. A few years later he acquired Paramount for more than $10 billion and added CBS to the portfolio in 1999 in a deal valued at $37 billion.

Before his health deteriorated, Redstone had claimed to swim naked every day and always liked to be surrounded by beautiful young women.

“With a striking head of orange hair, Redstone is a vainglorious, old-school egomaniac who has an operatic personal life that has been largely kept out of the media undoubtedly because he controls so much of it,” author Michael Wolff wrote in New York magazine in 2002.

“LIVING GHOST”

After decades spent building his empire, Redstone’s participation at corporate events became minimal in 2014 and he spoke only a few words on earnings calls. Fortune magazine reported he attended his last board meetings that year and cited a witness who said he dozed and drooled during it, which raised the question about whether he was fit to run the company.

Despite the concerns about his health, Redstone hung on to his chairmanship as long as possible. In June 2015, he told Vanity Fair in an email correspondence, “You should know that I am never retiring!!!”

Later that year, the Wall Street Journal reported Redstone had suffered mini-strokes that made speaking difficult, although he remained mentally sharp.

Former girlfriend Manuela Herzer challenged Redstone’s mental competence in a lawsuit filed in November 2015, referring to him as a “living ghost.”

The suit was thrown out in May 2016 by a California judge who ruled that Redstone’s testimony had disproved Herzer’s claims. Herzer appealed the judge’s ruling, and the parties settled in 2019.

Redstone’s death, which comes at a time the media landscape is enduring wrenching changes, thins the ranks of a group of media executives, including Rupert Murdoch and Ted Turner, who changed the world of news and entertainment with the companies they built.

Redstone displayed a penchant for forcing out top executives, including Viacom President Frank Biondi; Mel Karmazin, the CEO of CBS; and Tom Freston, who was canned as CEO of Viacom after losing a deal to acquire the social media network MySpace to Murdoch.

Asked in his last interview, in January 2014, with The Hollywood Reporter, about who might succeed him, Redstone exploded, “I will not discuss succession. You know why? I’m not going to die.”

(Reporting by Helen Coster and Jennifer Saba; Editing by Bill Trott, Diane Craft, Toby Chopra and Chizu Nomiyama)

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