The concept of three generations or why Paramount is up for sale
Almost all family businesses have the same dynamic — the first generation starts a business, the second one takes it to astronomical heights, and the third sells it away, unable to save it.

In media, we've seen it with Getty Oil. When Bill Rasmussen was searching for investments to launch ESPN, he turned to the oil tycoon George Getty. A pioneer in the field, George founded the Getty Oil Company along with his son, J. Paul Getty, who managed to secure concessions in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia (thus bringing the business to a whole new level). Looking to expand and invest some of its money, Getty Oil gave $10 million for an 85% share in the media company.
ESPN quickly grew to become one of the most influential networks in sports, bringing in great ROI for Getty Oil. Then came Gordon Getty (the grandson aka third generation), and the family business was eventually sold to Texaco… along with the 85% ESPN stake.

The thing about history is that it's bound to repeat itself. This time, it's Paramount — home to CBS, Viacom, MTV, Nickelodeon, and more.

National Amusements (then Northeast Theater Corporation), which owns Paramount, was founded by Michael Redstone in 1936. The company started by building drive-in theaters. It was his son, Sumner Redstone, who turned National Amusements into one of the biggest media giants in the U.S.

When Shari Redstone took over the reign of the conglomerate, she tried her best to keep it afloat, fighting off acquisition deals. She merged CBS and Viacom, but that didn't help the struggling business much amid the declining cable viewer numbers, ad sales, and the streaming wars. The company's income and shares both kept plummeting and there are no signs they're going back up anytime soon. So, Shari is finally putting up the sale sign.

That's not to say that Paramount isn't racking up money — the company has many robust assets that are bringing in cash. And people are willing to buy in. Right now, David Ellison is eyeing the acquisition, but only time will tell under which umbrella Paramount will go to.
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