Last updated: October 15, 2009 - 7:31am
National Amusements, the Redstone family movie theater company that also serves as a vehicle to control Viacom and CBS, said it would sell nearly $1 billion worth of shares in the two media companies to pay down its large debt load, $500 million of which is due at the end of October. National Amusements says it will retain control of CBS and Viacom by maintaining about 75 percent of the voting stock in each company. National Amusements, which is owned by Sumner Redstone and his daughter, Shari Redstone, said it would sell $600 million worth of Viacom shares and $345 million worth of CBS shares. The new stock sale means that National Amusements will not sell many of its movie theaters, which the company had said it would do to raise money to pay down debt.