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Lord Byron and the Courtship of Shari

Byron Allen watches Smokey Robinson perform as he was honored with the 2023 UCLA Neurosurgery Visionary Award at The Beverly Hilton on October 11, 2023, in Beverly Hills, California.
According to one company source, the ability to actually consummate a deal with Allen was a concern in the BET talks. For that reason, I chuckled a little when Allen told me, essentially, not to worry about the money. Photo: Greg Doherty/Getty Images for Byron Allen/Allen Media Group

Byron Allen called me up yesterday, which shouldn’t be surprising to people who know Byron Allen. The dude seems to be calling everyone in the media this week; he loves spinning—sorry, chatting—especially about himself. He loves it almost as much as he loves making public offers to buy media companies.

Allen, the stand-up comic turned talk show host turned owner of the Weather Channel and a bunch of television stations, had heard that I was calling around about him and his most recent gambit—a $14.3 billion offer for Paramount Global, which he texted directly to Shari Redstone, the controlling shareholder. (I’d like to report that Redstone responded with the praying hands emoji, or maybe the flamenco dancer, but alas, Allen told me he hadn’t received a response yet.)