Moonves speaks after CBS shakeup, says he’s ‘deeply saddened’

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CBS CEO Les Moonves out amid allegations

A model of this text first appeared within the Dependable Sources e-newsletter. You’ll be able to join free proper right here.

Moonves exits

The 2 phrases that preserve coming to thoughts are “beautiful downfall.” Sunday evening’s announcement by CBS is FIVE tales in a single:

— It is a beautiful downfall for Les Moonves after practically 20 years on the prime of CBS and the highest of the printed TV enterprise… He has exited the corporate “efficient instantly…”

— It is a vital second of accountability within the #MeToo age…

— It is a decision to a months-long tug of warfare between Moonves and Shari Redstone…

— It is a full makeover of the CBS board, seemingly with a watch towards promoting the corporate…

— And it is a story about cash and energy. Simply how a lot severance, if any, will Moonves obtain? The vary is between $zero and $120 million…

“Like a head falling off Mt. Rushmore”

“Leslie Moonves has sat atop leisure trade energy lists for years, and change into a mannequin for company stability in his greater than twenty years overseeing CBS,” Brian Lowry writes. “In a enterprise recognized for change and turnover, his compelled departure from the community — to make use of an oft-referenced expression in showbiz circles — is sort of a head falling off Mt. Rushmore.” This is Lowry’s full story…

His assertion

les moonves 2
Les Moonves

“For the previous 24 years it has been an unimaginable privilege to guide CBS’s renaissance and transformation into a number one world media firm,” Moonves mentioned Sunday evening. He mentioned “unfaithful allegations from a long time in the past are actually being made in opposition to me that aren’t per who I’m.”

His final line: “I’m deeply saddened to be leaving the corporate. I want nothing however one of the best for the group, the newly comprised board of administrators and all of its workers.”

How we received right here

Step approach, approach again. Moonves’ identify was talked about within the quick aftermath of the Harvey Weinstein scandal and the delivery of the #MeToo motion. Moonves, it was whispered, was susceptible. But it surely was solely whispered. Months and months glided by with none reporting. Farrow was mentioned to be engaged on one thing about Moonves as early as January, however CBS skillfully waved off reporters’ inquiries. Some individuals stopped believing that there was any “there” there. However the ladies who have been finally recognized in Farrow’s story believed Moonves ought to be held accountable.

Quick ahead to July 27. The New Yorker revealed Farrow’s first story about Moonves. It was surprising. Farrow included accounts from six ladies, and insiders knew he was talking with others. The professional-Moonves CBS board saved him in place whereas hiring two regulation companies to research. One month got here and went. Fed up, a few of the different ladies determined to go on the document.

Proper after Labor Day, Farrow started contacting people within the CBS orbit for touch upon his new reporting. Inside a day or so, information shops reported that Moonves was in talks to exit the corporate. These tales (together with my very own) now learn slightly in another way on mild of Farrow’s reporting…

Sunday’s tick-tock

Reporters have been listening to that motion from the CBS board could possibly be imminent. The New Yorker clearly didn’t need to be caught flat-footed.

Farrow’s followup story was revealed at 11:09 a.m. ET and it hit my inbox at 11:28 a.m. ET. I used to be in a industrial break on “Dependable Sources.” I despatched a string of texts to New Yorker PR. Inside minutes we scrapped my essay section and lined up a stay cellphone interview with Farrow. He mentioned “these ladies are popping out now” as a result of “they’ve been terribly annoyed by what they understand to be inaction on the a part of CBS and its board. And that actually is integral to what prompted this followup story.”

By midday, Selection’s Cynthia Littleton mentioned Moonves’ tenure was anticipated to finish inside 24 hours. At 12:30, CNBC’s David Faber mentioned a “world settlement” was seemingly by the morning. At 2 p.m., I reported that Moonves, in reality, was leaving CBS, and it was only a matter of some signatures on the paperwork. The press launch landed at 7:21. These items take some time, after which they occur rapidly…

What now?

— Moonves and 6 different board members are out. Six new members are in…

— CBS will file an 8K very first thing Monday…

— Numerous items of CBS can hopefully begin to get again to regular…

— Joe Ianniello would be the appearing CEO…

— Ianniello will meet along with his division chiefs in NYC on Wednesday…

— The brand new board will conduct a search “for a everlasting successor,” and the chairman place will stay open within the meantime…

— Norah O’Donnell will make her first feedback in regards to the scandal on Monday’s “CBS This Morning.” Gayle King would, too, however she was already scheduled to be off…

— Farrow can be on CNN’s “New Day” within the 7 a.m. hour…

— And fall premiere season on CBS is precisely two weeks from now…

How will this present day be remembered?

…As the primary #MeToo case to topple a Fortune 500 CEO?

Quoting from Monday’s WSJ: Moonves “turns into probably the most outstanding and highly effective leisure government to be compelled from his job” within the #MeToo age.

Or was this a company coup — a profitable effort by Redstone to realize a tighter grip on CBS by ousting Moonves?

Two sides, two completely different storylines. I feel there’s some reality to each — this was a boardroom battle royale AND a C-suite harassment scandal. “Les did this to Les,” one aspect says. “This was all about Shari,” the opposite aspect says.

WHAT WE KNOW FOR SURE: Moonves and Redstone have been set to face off in court docket this fall. Via Sunday night’s settlement, all of these fits can be dismissed…

FROM AN EMAILER: “While you attempt to kill the queen, you higher succeed…”

Two conspiratorial theories

I am sharing these not as a result of I imagine them, however as a result of the individuals closest to this mess are speaking about ’em, so you must know, too…

Concept 1: Redstone was by some means concerned in Farrow’s reporting. Folks on Group Moonves have dropped hints about this for months. To be clear, Group Redstone has flatly denied it…

Concept 2: Moonves, figuring out he could possibly be uncovered by the #MeToo motion, determined to select a struggle with Redstone over the way forward for CBS…

Excellent Q’s

— These two regulation companies retained by the CBS board are nonetheless investigating. When will they end up their work?

— Future funds to Moonves “will depend on the outcomes of the impartial investigation and subsequent board analysis.” What is going to the board do?

— What’s worse: Dangerous press and shareholder lawsuits for paying Moonves or a protracted authorized struggle with Moonves?

— The place will the $20 million go? CBS says that Moonves and CBS will donate $20 million, deducted from any of his severance, “to a number of organizations that help the #MeToo motion and equality for ladies within the office.”

— Instances Up mentioned “we’ll settle for nothing much less” than “a dedication to actual change throughout all ranges of CBS administration.” What is going to that seem like?

— Brian Lowry emails: “Along with her husband leaving, will Julie Chen keep at CBS?”

— What does Moonves need to do subsequent? Does he have traders lined up for one thing new?

— One other one from Lowry: “With this story unfolding now, how a lot #MeToo discuss will there be throughout Sunday’s Emmy telecast?”

— Two years from now, who will personal CBS?

In the meantime, CBS Information had a extremely robust day…

CBS Information continues to vigorously cowl the scandal inside its personal home — each on TV and on the net — a indisputable fact that ought to be recommended. On Sunday the information division cited its personal sources re: the doable payout to Moonves.

Placing all this to the aspect for a second, if that is doable, the information division additionally had two huge interviews on Sunday: VP Mike Pence on “Face the Nation” and Bob Woodward a couple of minutes earlier on “CBS Sunday Morning.”

–> ICYMI, Pence needed to do some cleanup… At first, he mentioned “I would not know” if anybody on his VP workers wrote the NYT op-ed… After the interview, he requested for a redo, and when the cameras have been rolling once more, he mentioned, “I assumed you have been talking in regards to the administration workers. Let me be very clear, I am 100% assured that nobody on the vp’s workers was concerned on this nameless editorial…”

CBS’s books division is about to have an incredible week…

“Concern” is a product of Simon & Schuster, and it is one of many largest publishing success tales of the yr. In line with CBS, practically a million copies have already been printed to satisfy demand. The ebook hasn’t budged from No. 1 on Amazon for the reason that excerpts got here out on Tuesday. However this is the much more spectacular stat: The ebook is already the sixth largest vendor of 2018, on Amazon, based mostly solely on pre-orders. “Hearth and Fury” stands firmly at No. 1 on this record. John Oliver’s parody of the Pence bunny ebook is No. 2. The one different Trump-related ebook is James Comey’s “A Increased Loyalty” at No. 5. And I anticipate Woodward to overhaul Comey quickly.

WHAT THIS MEANS: On Amazon, “Concern” has already surpassed nearly each different Trumpy ebook this yr, from pro-Trump tomes like “The Russia Hoax” to take-downs like “Unhinged…”

WHAT’S NEXT: Woodward can be on NBC’s “In the present day” within the A.M…

For the document, CBS version

— William D. Cohan’s newest for VF: Moonves has admitted to kissing his physician with out consent 19 years in the past. The physician apparently accused Moonves of doing greater than that…

— New assertion from NOW: “Moonves ought to face justice for his crimes, not obtain a payout to go away…”

— Who’re the brand new board members? What is going to they create to CBS? Brian Steinberg says “lots of them concentrate on M&A or new media…”

Finish of a TV period, and…

Moonves has been probably the most highly effective males in media for a few years. Among the best-paid males in media, too. He has constructed up an unimaginable quantity of respect within the trade. And that is partly why Sunday was such a shock. He was accused of horrific misconduct.

Invoice Carter mentioned it very well on Twitter: “I’ve recognized and coated Leslie Moonves for 30 years. He was accessible, candid, skilled with excellent expertise as an leisure exec. The revelations about him depict a disturbed particular person and depart me shocked and sickened. He doesn’t deserve, a lot much less want, a wealthy payout for resigning.”

Carter and I can be speaking extra about this on “New Day” within the morning…

“Actual change stays a delusion”

— Selection’s Caroline Framke tweeted: The brand new accusations in Farrow’s story “affirm probably the most infuriating patterns: highly effective males who preyed on ladies attempting to interrupt into the enterprise usually succeeded in driving them out of it…”

— Former Selection TV critic Maureen Ryan responded: “Ladies are pushed out in any respect ranges on a regular basis & establishments inside the trade HAVE STILL NOT CHANGED in relation to persistently doling out penalties. One yr on, actual change stays a delusion..”

— Yashar Ali wrote a narrative alongside these similar strains the opposite day: “Unique: Les Moonves Was Obsessed With Ruining Janet Jackson’s Profession, Sources Say…”

What about Fager?

Moonves was not the one identify in Farrow’s unique story. “60 Minutes” boss Jeff Fager figured prominently within the story too. Fager stayed on trip for some time… However finally got here again to work… And he is been overseeing the present’s subsequent season, regardless of being accused of wrongdoing by a number of people.

Learn extra of Sunday’s Dependable Sources e-newsletter… And subscribe right here to obtain future editions in your inbox…

Standard knowledge has been that CBS Information could not take any motion in opposition to Fager till the Moonves scenario was cleared up. Now, we could also be listening to extra from the information division quickly…

What is going to Colbert say?

Frank Pallotta emails: “The Late Present with Stephen Colbert” can be should see TV on Monday evening for 2 causes. The primary we knew final week: Bob Woodward can be on to speak about “Concern.”

The second turned obvious Sunday… How will Colbert react to his boss stepping down? Colbert had considered one of his finest “Late Present” moments in current reminiscence when the allegations in opposition to Moonves first broke. “Accountability is meaningless, except it is for everyone,” he mentioned of Moonves in July. It’s going to be attention-grabbing to see what extra he’ll say on Monday evening…

And what about Viacom?

Brian Lowry emails: CBS will not be operating Viacom, however that also leaves Shari Redstone with an issue — specifically, that Viacom is operating Viacom, which has been a laggard among the many main studios. The discuss of mixing the 2 was a matter of in search of scale amid a wave of consolidation, and the query now’s whether or not she’ll search a separate deal, which appears inevitable…

“Within the spirit of the brand new yr…”

Rachel Bloom is the co-creator and star of “Loopy Ex Girlfriend” on the CW, which is half-owned by CBS. On Sunday afternoon, she shared Farrow’s story on Twitter and mentioned, “As an worker of CBS, I might similar to to say that Les Moonves ought to be fired with out getting a f—ing greenback. The actions described on this article are these of sexual assault and disgrace on anybody else within the company who knew about his crimes.”

After his exit was introduced and CBS mentioned he would not be getting any severance in the interim, Bloom posted a new message: “Good.” To CBS, she mentioned, “within the spirit of the brand new yr, let’s make this the start of a brand new period.”

CNNMoney (New York) First revealed September 10, 2018: 12:26 AM ET



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