Les Moonves, CBS Chief, Faces Inquiry Over Misconduct Allegations

CBS, for years the No. 1 TV community with hits like “The Big Bang Theory,” “Survivor” and the “CSI” franchise, has been probably the greatest performing companies within the media business. Its success has largely been attributed to Mr. Moonves, who has been praised for his uncanny capability to select exhibits that grow to be hits with mass audiences. He additionally strikes comfortably amongst each Wall Street traders and Hollywood producers, talking as simply about negotiating carriage charges as he does programming for prime-time audiences.

But as know-how giants like Netflix, Amazon, Apple and Facebook have pushed into leisure, media companies have responded by bulking up by way of acquisitions. . This yr, Ms. Redstone requested the boards of CBS and Viacom to discover the opportunity of a merger.

Mr. Moonves and nearly all of the CBS board, nonetheless, concluded mixture wouldn’t profit CBS’s shareholders. The firm has a much more sturdy enterprise, whereas revenues at Viacom, which incorporates the cable networks Nickelodeon, MTV and Comedy Central, have been shrinking over the previous few years.

In May, CBS and Mr. Moonves misplaced one of many early rounds of the dispute when a decide dominated towards CBS’s effort to scale back Ms. Redstone’s affect over the community. She, by way of her household firm, controls practically 80 p.c of the corporate’s voting rights.

Issues over these rights and the management of CBS might be determined within the courtroom case this yr. That lawsuit had already put Mr. Moonves’s storied profession at stake; if he loses, he might find yourself leaving the corporate.

In the #MeToo period, quite a lot of distinguished media figures have confronted allegations of improper habits. In November, CBS fired the anchor Charlie Rose after The Washington Post printed an article wherein a number of girls accused him of sexual misconduct. Mr. Rose had been a number of the CBS morning present since 2012. He joined the community’s “60 Minutes II” as a correspondent in 1999. After that present was canceled, he joined “60 Minutes” in 2008. (PBS additionally lower its longtime ties with Mr. Rose.)

Three of the ladies who made the accusations towards Mr. Rose have since sued him and CBS, saying that they had been sexually harassed whereas working for him and that the community didn’t do something to cease it. CBS has mentioned it was not conscious of any allegations relating to Mr. Rose’s habits till The Post printed its article.

At the time, Mr. Rose expressed “embarrassment” for pursuing what he believed to be “shared feelings” with girls who had accused him.

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