Scaling Mount Paramount

Thomas S. Murphy was dining with his wife at New York's Four Seasons restaurant on Sept. 14 when he spied fellow media moguls Sumner M. Redstone and Martin S. Davis at another table. The two were celebrating the proposed $8.2 billion merger of their media companies, Viacom Inc. and Paramount Communications Inc. Murphy, who engineered the 1985 takeover of ABC by Capital Cities Communications, sidled over to congratulate them. As Redstone recalls it, Murphy gave every indication that Capital Cities/ABC Inc. wouldn't disrupt the deal.

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