CBS Resolves $120 Million Severance Dispute With Leslie Moonves

CBS and former entertainment chairman Leslie Moonves have resolved their dispute over $120 million that Moonves was set to collect as part of his exit from the company in 2018. In an SEC filing on Friday, CBS said that money, which had been held in a trust while they settled the dispute, will revert back to the company.

Inside CBS’s Fraught Investigation Into Allegations Of Racism And Misogyny

Gripped by scandal in the summer of 2018, CBS came up with a way to contain the crisis. The television giant’s board hired two outside law firms to investigate sexual misconduct claims against its longtime leader, Leslie Moonves, and to scour the company for traces of a toxic atmosphere. A Los Angeles Times review of court filings, CBS internal communications and interviews with two dozen current and former CBS television station employees found that many were troubled by the outcome of the investigation and questioned the company’s commitment to cleaning up its culture.

OVERNIGHTS

CBS Execs On Post-Moonves ‘Bull’ Fallout

CBS is defending its handling of a sexual harassment by Michael Weatherly, star of its drama series Bull. CBS Entertainment President Kelly Kahl said Wednesday that Weatherly “owned” his mistake and was apologetic and remorseful. Last year, CBS reached a $9.5 million confidential settlement with actress Eliza Dushku after she alleged on-set sexual comments from Weatherly made her uncomfortable.

CBS Paid Moonves $12.5M Last Year

Former CBS Corp. Chief Executive Leslie Moonves forfeited $34.5 million in compensation last year after being forced from his longtime perch amid a sexual misconduct scandal. Nonetheless, the longtime television executive received $12.5 million in compensation, including salary and stock, last year — down from $69 million in 2017.

Moonves, CBS File Briefs In Pension Lawsuit

Former CBS Chairman-CEO Leslie Moonves and CBS corporate filed legal briefs Friday in connection with a shareholder lawsuit that accuses CBS, its board and Moonves of failing to disclose information that would affect business operations and stock prices.

CBS Shareholders Point To Insider Stock Sales

An amended lawsuit say stock sales from Leslie Moonves, Joseph Ianniello and other executives amount to evidence of knowing wrongfulness and fraudulent motive.

CBS: Moonves To Fight For Exit Package

In a terse regulatory filing, CBS has confirmed that its former CEO, Les Moonves, isn’t going away without a fight. In December, the company’s board cited the findings of its internal investigation in declaring that Moonves had been fired for cause and would therefore not be eligible for the $120 million exit package included in his contract. In the filing, CBS said: “Mr. Moonves notified the company of his election to demand binding arbitration with respect to this matter. The company does not intend to comment further on this matter during the pendency of the arbitration proceedings.”

Financial Times Retracts Moonves Interview

Financial Times Won’t Retract ‘Les Moonves’ Interview He Denies Happened

Colbert Claims Severance Denied To Moonves

NEW YORK (AP) — Stephen Colbert is laying claim to the $120 million in severance that CBS’ board of directors said wouldn’t be paid to ousted former CEO Leslie Moonves — at least half of it. The late-night host joked, “the other half goes to Tom Selleck’s mustache.” Colbert didn’t avoid his network’s big news […]

CBS Is Footing Moonves’s Legal Bills

CBS’s board was emphatic this week that the ousted chief executive Leslie Moonves “will not receive any severance payment,” slamming the door on his quest to collect $120 million. Case closed? Hardly. Under his termination agreement, reached when he left the company in September, CBS itself will be picking up the tab — it has been footing the bill for Moonves’s monthslong legal fight against CBS.

Staggs Is Top Candidate To Succeed Moonves

Former Walt Disney Co. Chief Operating Officer Tom Staggs has emerged as a top candidate to become CBS Corp.’s new chief executive, people familiar with the matter said, as the network tries to move past months of uncertainty and upheaval since the departure of Leslie Moonves over allegations of sexual harassment.

COMMENTARY

CBS Deserves No Ovation As Moonves Drama Ends

On the one hand, #MeToo has taken away a lot of the shame and fear of speaking up about sexual assault, it’s made pariahs of some of the accused — like Moonves and fellow entertainment executive Harvey Weinstein — and it’s given women hope. But it shouldn’t have taken a media spotlight to remove a leader who had so grossly abused his power for years; even then, the inclination of CBS’s board was reportedly to protect him.

The Year Of Reckoning At CBS

In the past 13 months, CBS has undergone a companywide reckoning in the wake of the #MeToo movement that has stretched from its morning show to its primetime lineup, its news division to its executive suite. Three powerful men at the company — Leslie Moonves, its chief executive; Charlie Rose, its morning show anchor; and Jeff Fager, the executive producer of 60 Minutes — have all lost their jobs because of workplace conduct.

CBS Gives $20M To Anti-Harassment Groups

CBS Corp. said Friday it would award $20 million that was originally earmarked for severance for its former CEO, Leslie Moonves, to 18 different organizations that work to eliminate sexual harassment in the workplace.

No Moonves Talk At CBS Board Meeting

CBS shareholders quickly elected 11 members of its revamped board on Tuesday before their annual meeting adjourned without discussion of an investigation into sexual-misconduct claims against former CBS CEO Les Moonves. The meeting wrapped up in less than 30 minutes.

Moonves Scandal Looms Over CBS Annual Meeting

CBS officials are unlikely to say more on the investigation into sexual-misconduct claims against former CBS CEO Les Moonves and the $120 million severance package on the line. The bigger task will come behind the scenes in the weeks to come.

Moonves Threatens To Sue CBS Over Leaks

Disgraced media mogul Les Moonves is threatening to sue CBS over recent leaks of lurid details about his alleged sexual misconduct. In what’s expected to amount to a breach of contract suit, Moonves’ lawyers are preparing to allege that leaks to the New York Times last week about CBS’s pending investigation into Moonves broke a confidentiality agreement and sullied the exec’s reputation, sources close to Moonves said.

Talent Manager Marv Dauer Defends His Role In Dealings With Moonves

The 75-year-old talent manager says the pivotal role he played in the downfall of Moonves — who was fired in September amid a widening sexual harassment scandal — came as a surprise. And so did the withering response to the New York Times story last week.

Report: Moonves Lied, Obstructed Investigation

How Les Moonves Tried To Silence An Accuser

A trove of text messages details a plan by Les Moonves and a faded Hollywood manager to bury a sexual assault allegation. Instead, the scheme helped sink the CBS chief, and may cost him $120 million.

CBS Moonves Inquiry Hits Snags

Its Boardroom Is A Drama CBS Can’t Cancel

CBS Corp. sought to turn the page on a tumultuous stretch when it said last month that Leslie Moonves was stepping down as chairman and chief executive amid sexual-harassment accusations and that the media company was settling litigation with its controlling shareholder. The Wall Street Journal reports that the broadcaster’s upheaval leaves two open board seats, potentially making a merger more likely. Journal subscribers can read the full story here.

CBS Subpoenaed Over Moonves Allegations

The company said in a regulatory filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that it received subpoenas from the Manhattan District Attorney and New York City’s Commission on Human Rights and that it is cooperating.

Moonves’ Lingering CBS Perks Spark Backlash

The ousted mogul’s security detail and office space remains on the network’s dime for the next two years, an arrangement some call “unacceptable.”

Chen Exiting ‘The Talk’ Amid Moonves Scandal

Julie Chen is steping down from The Talk on CBS, one week after her husband Les Moonves left the CBS Corp. under pressure. Chen’s decision is effective immediately, according to two sources close to her. She will address the decision through a videotaped message to viewers on Tuesday’s episode.

JESSELL AT LARGE

Jessell | Moonves’ Fall Not Unmitigated Loss For Affils

While Leslie Moonves ran a great network, he projected little regard for CBS affiliates and even the CBS O&Os. To him, it seems, the affiliates were collection agents for retransmission consent fees who kept too much of the money for themselves. His successor, whomever he or she might be, needs to have a vision for broadcasting that goes beyond being just a bridge to a streaming future and look at affiliates as valuable, inportant partners.

CBS Investigators Interview Moonves Accuser Phyllis Golden-Gottlieb

Inside CBS After Leslie Moonves’ Ouster

Workplace culture at CBS has come under intense scrutiny since allegations against Leslie Moonves of sexual harassment were published in two recent New Yorker articles.

CBS, Shaped By Moonves, Challenged Now

CBS is in a predicament similar to what Fox News Channel faced when Roger Ailes was forced out in 2016 following sexual misconduct charges, felled by #MeToo before it was a movement. In both cases, a creative enterprise thoroughly dominated by one person was suddenly left to fend for itself.

COMMENTARY

Les Moonves: Not All Harassment Is Sexual

Linda Bloodworth Thomason, one of CBS’s biggest hitmakers, reveals the disgraced mogul kept her shows off the air for seven years: “People asked me for years, ‘What happened to you?’ Les Moonves happened to me.”

CBS Shows Power — And Limits — Of #MeToo

While Leslie Moonves is the most powerful CEO brought down yet by sexual misconduct allegations over the past year, CBS is facing criticism for not pushing him out sooner, for thanking him in its announcement and for offering him a potential $120 million in severance. Others say his downfall still serves as a warning that even the most powerful bosses cannot hide.

Some Contenders To Replace Moonves

CBS Won’t Release Report On Moonves

The separation agreement with Leslie Moonves has $120 million going into a trust pending the results, but also a broad confidentiality clause and the possibility of private arbitration.

CBS Sets $120M Moonves Payoff Pending Probe

CBS Corp. said on Monday it will pay $120 million to former Chief Executive Officer Leslie Moonves if an internal investigation into allegations of harassment fails to provide grounds for his dismissal.

CBS’s Interim CEO Seeks To Calm Troops

Joe Ianniello began his tenure as president and acting CEO of CBS by sending out a memo on Monday morning that sought to both rally and calm the company’s employees after the shocking departure of longtime chief executive Leslie Moonves, which was announced Sunday.

Les Moonves Leaves Complicated Legacy

The fall of Les Moonves is stunning for the sheer velocity with which one of the most powerful moguls in the media business got dethroned. Once regarded as creative executive with few equals, Moonves now leaves a complicated legacy clouded by the allegations of sexual misconduct made this summer by a dozen women.

Moonves Breaks Silence On CBS Ouster

In a statement issued Sunday evening, Moonves said he was “deeply saddened to be leaving the company” and calling the growing list of sexual harassment and assault allegations leveled against him “untrue allegations.”

Les Moonves Gone From CBS

CBS announced its chairman’s exit Sunday night, hours after The New Yorker magazine posted a story with a second round of ugly accusations against Moonves. CBS said $20 million will be donated to one or more organizations that support #MeToo and workplace equality for women. That sum will be deducted from any severance due Moonves, a figure that won’t be determined until an outside investigation led by a pair of law firms is finished. In addition, CBS’s board also announced Sunday that Redstone’s National Amusements will not propose a merger between CBS and Viacom, which Redstone had been urging, for two years. Six new CBS board members were also appointed.

Time’s Up Blasts Expected Moonves Package

Time’s Up put out a statement Thursday criticizing the $100 million settlement package that CBS CEO Les Moonves is reportedly set to receive in his widely-expected exit from the company. “[This] settlement sends a message to survivors everywhere that powerful men can act without fear of consequence.”