New Viacom board members sought amid Sumner Redstone legal battle

Published: June 9, 2016 11:08 p.m. ET

A shakeup of Viacom Inc.’s board is in the works.

National Amusements Inc., the holding company through which media titan Sumner Redstone controls Viacom VIA, -0.16% , has started the process of recruiting potential board members for the entertainment giant, people familiar with the matter said.

The move comes just a few weeks after Redstone last month ousted Viacom Chairman and Chief Executive Philippe Dauman and board member George Abrams from the board of National Amusements and the trust that will oversee the mogul’s holdings when he dies or is declared incapacitated. Their exit has been seen as a precursor to shaking up the Viacom board and the possible removal of Dauman from the company.

Dauman and Abrams have filed suit to try to block their dismissal from the trust and Viacom’s independent board members indicated last week that they are preparing for a legal fight to keep their seats. The executives and the board members say the 93-year-old Redstone doesn’t have the mental capacity to act on his own free will.

A spokesman for Redstone declined to comment Thursday on possible changes to the Viacom board. Among the names under consideration by National Amusements for the Viacom board are Kenneth Lerer, Nicole Seligman and Judith McHale, according to people close to the process.

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