NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The Viacom (VIAB) - Get Report fiasco is "basically 'Game of Thrones' in the final episode" with all of the women winning, Mario Gabelli, CEO of Gabelli Asset Management, said on CNBC's "Squawk Box" Tuesday.
Sumner Redstone, the CEO of National Amusements, which owns 80% of voting shares of Viacom and CBS (CBS), fired his entire Viacom board back in June. Those dismissed included then-CEO Philippe Dauman. The board took legal action to overturn Redstone's decision, stating he is mentally incapable and that his daughter, Shari Redstone, was manipulating him so she can fully gain control of the company.
Dauman's main argument is that Redstone never intended for his children to have a deciding say in management, insinuating that Shari Redstone is taking advantage of the 93-year-old's ailing health.
National Amusements is pursuing a legal action in return by a Delaware court to affirm Redstone's action. The judge on the case announced last week that he will schedule a hearing sometime in July.
The fate of Viacom is up to the courts now, but considering Shari Redstone has 80% of the vote, Redstone's initial decision to overturn the Viacom board will likely stand, Gabelli stated.
"Suppose Sumner said 'I want my family to run the business' and they have 80% of the vote. You knew that in advance," Gabelli continued, referencing shareholders who are not pleased with the voting proportion. Gabelli is a shareholder of Viacom as well.
In fact, Gabelli's only fault with the media giant is that management never "disclosed how serious the issues" were at Viacom before the litigation was taken, he continued.
"How in this day does a company this big not prepare for succession appropriately in a way that doesn't lead to this mess? Why is that not negligence on somebody's part?" CNBC's Steve Liesman asked.
Gabelli disagreed that the succession fell apart because of "negligence."
"It falls apart because the owner of the company says I have a different point of view of who should run the company in the future," Gabelli replied.
The "sequence is simple." Start at the top, get rid of Dauman. Then, get rid of all of the Viacom directors and start from scratch with your own "allies." "You had to understand that that was part of the process," Gabelli argued.
Shares of Viacom are rising by 2.11% to $39.70 early this morning.
Separately, TheStreet Ratings rated Viacom as a "hold" with a score of C+.
objectively rated this stock according to its "risk-adjusted" total return prospect over a 12-month investment horizon. Not based on the news in any given day, the rating may differ from Jim Cramer's view or that of this articles's author. TheStreet Ratings has this to say about the recommendation:
The primary factors that have impacted our rating are mixed. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its compelling growth in net income, expanding profit margins and notable return on equity.
However, as a counter to these strengths, TheStreet Ratings also finds weaknesses including generally higher debt management risk, weak operating cash flow and a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself.
You can view the full analysis from the report here: VIAB