Sumner Redstone

Sumner Redstone Photo by Courtesy Photo

The money and the buzz on each of L.A.’s wealthiest.

THE MONEY: How do you make $1 billion in 12 months? Own millions of CBS shares – which doubled – and Viacom, another big winner. Turnaround in TV ad market explains rising fortunes of media titan after miserable 2008.

BUZZ: 2009 also saw Redstone improve relationships. Had dinner with Tom Cruise, first time two appeared in public since Redstone fired star for couch-jumping antics on “Oprah.” Paparazzi caught twice-divorced octogenarian dining with old date mate Christine Peters, ex-wife of studio executive Jon Peters. On business front, as share prices rose, Redstone sold nonvoting shares in CBS and Viacom, raising $964 million to retire debt at family-owned cinema chain National Amusements. Despite sell-off, majority shareholder at Viacom and CBS. Rewarded himself by raising take-home salary 56 percent; should hit $37 million next year. Served as intelligence officer and code-breaker in World War II. Earned Harvard law degree and took over family movie company in 1967. In 1986, parlayed that asset into a controlling share of Viacom. In 2006, spun off CBS.

NET WORTH: $2.95 billion +65%

LAST YEAR: $1.8 billion

AGE: 86

RESIDENCE: Los Angeles

SOURCE OF WEALTH: Broadcasting, movie theaters

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