Les Moonves Negotiating Exit From CBS

Les Moonves Negotiating Exit From CBS

Les Moonves Negotiating Exit From CBS

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that CBS chief Les Moonves is negotiating with independent directors of CBS' board for a possible exit.

There is also some symmetry here too as the besieged Moonves exited as a Commissioners for the Anita Hill-led Commission on Eliminating Sexual Harassment and Advancing Equality in the Workplace on August 1, not long after the Ronan Farrow article on him was published. And the CBS side would drop its bid to dilute Redstone's ownership.

Moonves, who orchestrated CBS's revival into a ratings victor, is one of the most powerful American men implicated in the #MeToo era that ignited almost a year ago with the career implosion of Harvey Weinstein. Under that arrangement, Moonves, remarkably, would be forfeiting approximately $80 million in compensation which he would reportedly be owed as part of a severance package and a production deal. In an email to CBS employees, the two lawyers leading the investigation said they are looking into "allegations of sexual harassment, retaliation and an inappropriate culture for women at CBS".

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The US television giant has been the focus of an ongoing legal battle between the Redstone family and the board, chaired by Moonves. CBS shares were up decisively on Thursday.

Moonves has denied the allegations against him.

A CBS spokesman declined to comment.

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If the talks are successful, Moonves' right-hand man, COO Joe Ianniello, will serve as interim CEO, CNBC reported, citing people close to the negotiations.

The corporation appointed outside lawyers to investigate The New Yorker claims but 68-year-old Moonves has remained in his post.

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