Take risks, said chairman Sumner Redstone at this week's Milken Conference. But the man is nearly 89, and he now talks about aging with a frankness that should be revealing.
But the latest news shows a last act is approaching. No one is immortal. The succession problem at Viacom can come to a head either before or after Sumner Redstone is laid to rest.
My guess is it happens before. So forget the problems with Spongebob Squarepants. That is going to be someone else's problem.
Look at Viacom in terms of its break-up value, or its value in acquisition. If you're not playing VIAB with that in mind, you're missing the point.
Sumner Redstone's last act is a disappearing one. And if it's as profitable as his past acts have been, you don't want to miss it.