CBS, in an attempt to short-circuit a merger with Viacom, has filed suit against National Amusements, the parent company of both CBS and Viacom. CBS says the action is necessary because Shari Redstone, the majority shareholder in National Amusements, has sought to undermine CBS’s management and has said she would replace CBS board members with others who would "compel a merger with Viacom," according to the court filing. The suit also charges Redstone with “unilaterally” telling a potential CBS acquirer, alleged to be Verizon, not to make an offer for the company. It is also intended to protect CBS’s plan (set to be voted on May 17) to dilute the preferred stock owned by Redstone. If the plan is approved, the preferred voting power that National Amusements holds in CBS would drop from 79.6 percent to about 17 percent, dealing Redstone’s power to make changes to the CBS board, and promote a potential merger, a severe blow.
Gizmodo Media Group, which operates Jezebel and Deadspin, has asked a judge for protection from lawsuits against those sites that have the financial backing of venture capitalist Peter Thiel. The lawsuits center on a Deadspin article about oddsmaker RJ Bell, which Bell says included false statements, and Jezebel stories that labeled Superstar Machine, a therapy group founded by life coach Gregory Scherick, a cult. Bell and Scherick are being represented in their lawsuits by Charles Harder, who also argued for Hulk Hogan in the Thiel-funded case that forced Gawker to shut down in 2016. Gawker and Thiel have signed an agreement stating that Thiel can no longer finance litigation against former Gawker writers. Gizmodo wants that agreement extended to the former Gawker sites it now owns. Last month, Thiel ended his bid to purchase the Gawker Media archives. A Manhattan judge will review the protection request in a hearing on Thursday.
FOX News is launching a new polling system, the FOX News Voter Analysis, that it says it will employ for the November 2018 midterm elections. The survey, which will be a partnership between Fox News and the Associated Press, was tested in last year’s Alabama special election for the U.S. Senate, and in the gubernatorial elections in New Jersey and Virginia. As part of the Fox News Voter Analysis, researchers will poll voters using multiple platforms, including cell phones, landlines, and the internet. Fox says that its surveys, which are designed to capture voter sentiment surrounding the key issues, will provide a more comprehensive look at voting behavior, opinions and preferences as America votes. “Most important,” said FOX News Channel president Jay Wallace, “we will provide in-depth coverage of every statewide election in 2018 and 2020, which will be particularly valuable as we expand our digital coverage.”