cloudy
Tuesday September 25th, 2018 3:17AM

CBS sets aside $120 million for Moonves, but will he see it?

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

NEW YORK (AP) — CBS revealed Monday that it set aside $120 million in severance for ousted chief executive Leslie Moonves. But whether he sees a penny of it is one of the tough and potentially incendiary decisions the network faces after his resignation over sexual misconduct accusations.

Despite Moonves' announced exit Sunday, outside lawyers hired by CBS continue to investigate allegations against him and Jeff Fager, the top executive at "60 Minutes." In a regulatory filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, CBS said it will release the severance money if the investigation finds there was no cause for him to be fired.

Any payment to Moonves is likely to anger the #MeToo movement that has brought down other powerful men in Hollywood and the media, including Hollywood studio boss Harvey Weinstein, NBC's Matt Lauer and CBS' Charlie Rose.

Meanwhile, Moonves' wife, Julie Chen, did not appear Monday on the season-opening episode of her daytime show, "The Talk," and co-host Sharon Osbourne said on the air that "everyone here at CBS is nervous about their jobs." CBS' stock price slid.

As head of television's most popular network, Moonves was among the most powerful and richest executives in the TV industry, making a total of nearly $140 million over the last two years.

His exit was announced hours after The New Yorker posted a detailed story alleging misconduct. In two stories posted this summer, a total of 12 women have said they were mistreated by the TV mogul, including forced oral sex, groping and retaliation if they resisted. Moonves has denied the charges, though he said he had consensual relations with some of the women.

The network's chief operating officer, Joseph Ianniello, is taking over as president and CEO until a reshaped board of directors can find a permanent replacement, CBS said. David Nevins, chief executive at CBS' Showtime network, was said to be a leading candidate.

Some of the allegations predate Moonves' working at CBS, which he joined as entertainment president in 1995. A determination on whether there was cause for his firing will focus on whether he violated any company policies while at CBS, said Dan Eaton, an employment lawyer and expert on severance issues as a professor at San Diego State University.

"If it turns that their reporting comes back with inconclusive findings on Mr. Moonves' conduct, then a negotiated resolution is highly probable," Eaton said.

CBS Corp. stock ended the day down 85 cents, or less than 2 percent, after rebounding in the afternoon. The stock has fallen more than 8 percent this year, with its biggest drop when the first round of accusations against Moonves surfaced.

On Monday's "The Talk," Osbourne said Chen was taking time off to be with her family. Chen, who is also host of the CBS prime-time show "Big Brother," has been married to Moonves since 2004.

"He's not been convicted of any crime, but obviously the man has a problem," Osbourne said.

Osbourne said she was particularly taken by the story of Phyllis Golden-Gottlieb, who told The New Yorker that Moonves pushed her head into his lap and forced her to perform oral sex when they both worked at the production company Lorimar in the late 1980s. Golden-Gottlieb said Moonves "ruined my career" when she resisted further advances; Moonves strongly denied hurting the careers of any women.

Osbourne said: "How is it when men get power it goes straight to their testicles? I don't know why, but it's true."

The New Yorker also reported Sunday that a former intern at "60 Minutes" three decades ago, Sarah Johansen, said that Fager groped her at a party. Fager is the gatekeeper for the most influential news show on television, and only the second executive producer it has ever had.

Earlier this summer, six former employees told the magazine that Fager had touched employees in ways that made them uncomfortable. Some women said Fager tolerated a workplace where men were protected.

"I really felt like this was one of the most sexist places I've ever worked," Johansen said.

Fager told the magazine that he had encouraged staff to talk to the lawyers investigating "60 Minutes," and added: "I believe that a fair and open investigation will determine '60 Minutes' is a good place where talented women and men thrive and produce some of the finest broadcast journalism in America."

Reached Monday while on a two-day trip in advance of the show's season opener later this month, Fager said he had no additional comment.

"60 Minutes" has often operated as an island unto itself at CBS News, maintaining separate offices across 57th Street in Manhattan from where most of the news division is headquartered.

As for Fager's successor if he does not survive the investigation, the show's No. 2 executive, Bill Owens, is well respected, and veteran "48 Hours" executive producer Susan Zirinsky would be a formidable candidate from outside the show but inside CBS.

___

Associated Press business writer Mae Anderson contributed to this report.

  • Associated Categories: U.S. News, Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top U.S. News short headlines, Top General short headlines, AP Entertainment, AP Online TV News, AP Business, AP Business - Corporate News
© Copyright 2018 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Florence strengthens to Category 4, takes aim at Carolinas
Florence explodes into potentially catastrophic Category 4 hurricane, closes in on North and South Carolina
8:12PM ( 10 minutes ago )
California aims to drop fossil fuels for electricity by 2045
California has set a goal of phasing out all fossil fuels from the state's electricity sector by 2045 under legislation signed by Gov. Jerry Brown
8:00PM ( 22 minutes ago )
Hurricane Olivia approaches Hawaii with heavy wind, rain
Hurricane Olivia is expected to approach Hawaii in the next day as either a high-end tropical storm or a low-end hurricane
7:22PM ( 1 hour ago )
U.S. News
Discovery of dog saves Oregon man from sex-crime conviction
The discovery of a black lab named Lucy led to the unravelling of a criminal case Monday against an Oregon man who had begun serving a 50-year prison sentence
8:05PM ( 17 minutes ago )
Studio 189's runway was a party of dance, song and fashion
Africa-facing Studio 189 co-founded by Rosario Dawson was a fashion week runway celebration
8:01PM ( 21 minutes ago )
Trump vents over leaks as Woodward pushes back on criticism
Trump vents over White House leaks as a new tell-all book commands attention, an anonymous writer detailing a "resistance" in the administration remains at large and an ex-staffer reveals more private recordings of the commander-in-chief
8:00PM ( 22 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Unlikely weapon: petanque balls help disarm Paris attacker
Petanque players in Paris who helped in the apprehension of a knife-wielding man have been lauded Monday for their bravery as French authorities opened an investigation into the attacks that saw seven people injured.
6:42PM ( 1 hour ago )
Minaj calls dustup with Cardi B 'mortifying,' 'humiliating'
Nicki Minaj says being involved in an altercation with Cardi B at a fashion week party was "so mortifying and so humiliating."
6:25PM ( 1 hour ago )
Les Moonves' wife Julie Chen absent from 'The Talk'
Julie Chen, wife of Les Moonves, is absent from her CBS talk show "The Talk" a day after her husband's departure from the network
6:05PM ( 2 hours ago )
AP National News
Carolinas brace for extremely dangerous Hurricane Florence
Florence has rapidly strengthened into a potentially catastrophic Category 4 hurricane as it closes in on North and South Carolina, carrying winds and water that could wreak havoc over a wide stretch of the eastern United States later this week
1:22PM ( 7 hours ago )
Iraqi city of Basra seethes over water crisis, unemployment
With brackish water pouring from the taps, failing city services and soaring unemployment, the southern Iraqi city of Basra has seen weeks of violent protests in the streets of the country's oil-exporting capital
12:50PM ( 7 hours ago )
Trump admin closing Palestinian office in Washington
The U.S. plans to close the Palestine Liberation Organization office in Washington in its latest show of support for the U.S-Israel relationship
12:37PM ( 7 hours ago )
AP Online National News
The Latest: Mother of man killed by Dallas cop seeks answers
The mother of a man who was gunned down inside of his Dallas home by a police officer who said she mistook his apartment for her own says investigators still haven't given her family an account of what happened
1:03PM ( 7 hours ago )
California highway reopens after blaze forces 6-day closure
Officials say a major interstate near the California-Oregon border has reopened six days a wildfire roaring along the roadway forced its closure
1:00PM ( 7 hours ago )
Lawyer: Miss America report finding no bullying a whitewash
The lawyer for former Miss America Cara Mund says a report commissioned by the Miss America Organization finding that Mund was not bullied by pageant leaders is "dishonest" and "a complete whitewash."
12:48PM ( 7 hours ago )
Top U.S. News short headlines
Petanque players in Paris praised for stopping knife attack
A French judicial official says an investigation has been opened for attempted murders after seven people were injured in a knife attack in central Paris late Sunday
10:14AM ( 10 hours ago )
North Korea wraps up 70th anniversary with mass rally
Keeping its nuclear weapons out of the spotlight, North Korea wraps up 70th anniversary celebration focused on Korean unity and economic development
10:02AM ( 10 hours ago )
Woodward: Mattis, Kelly denials of his book quotes untrue
Journalist Bob Woodward says Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and White House Chief of Staff John Kelly "are not telling the truth" when they deny making disparaging statements about President Donald Trump attributed to them in his new book
9:48AM ( 10 hours ago )
Top General short headlines
The Latest: Keselowski hands Team Penske 1st Brickyard win
Latest on NASCAR racing at the Brickyard in Indianapolis
5:25PM ( 3 hours ago )
Cosby lawyers fight testimony of other women at sentencing
Bill Cosby's lawyers are opposing testimony from other accusers at the actor's sentencing this month on felony sex assault charges
5:18PM ( 3 hours ago )
Box Office Top 20: 'The Nun' conjures up $53.8 million
Box Office Top 20: The horror pic "The Nun" scared off the competition and dominated the North American box office, while "Peppermint" moves to second place
5:10PM ( 3 hours ago )
AP Entertainment
Study: Middle Eastern actors ignored, stereotyped by TV
A new study says actors of Middle Eastern and Northern African descent are virtually invisible on television. According to findings released Monday, the few such actors on TV are largely confined to playing tyrants and terrorists
1:58PM ( 6 hours ago )
The Latest: Ousted CBS chief's severance could be $120M
CBS will pay ousted chief Les Moonves $120 million if its ongoing investigation fails to find any evidence of sexual misconduct.
1:06PM ( 7 hours ago )
The Latest: CBS shares drop after Moonves ouster
Shares of CBS are falling in the first day of trading after the ouster of Chairman Les Moonves
10:53AM ( 9 hours ago )
AP Online TV News
Stocks end losing streak as industrials, retailers rise
Gain for industrial and consumer-focused companies help US stock indexes break out of a four-day losing streak
4:33PM ( 3 hours ago )
Despite Trump tweet, Ford says it won't make hatchback in US
Despite Trump tweet, Ford says it won't bring production of Focus Active to US from China
4:06PM ( 4 hours ago )
US consumer borrowing up strong $16.6 billion in July
US consumer borrowing up strong $16.6 billion in July, nearly double June gain
3:44PM ( 4 hours ago )
AP Business
Trial begins in $10B investor lawsuit against Volkswagen
Trial proceedings have begun against Volkswagen on behalf of investors alleging the company did not give them timely notice of its scandal over cars rigged to cheat on diesel emissions tests
11:06AM ( 9 hours ago )
Alibaba's Jack Ma to step down as chairman in September 2019
Alibaba Group founder Jack Ma says he will step down as the e-commerce giant's chairman in September 2019
2:49AM ( 17 hours ago )
Lawyer: Trump doesn't think Stormy Daniels' deal is valid
Donald Trump's lawyer says the president doesn't believe Stormy Daniels' hush-money agreement is valid and won't carry out a threat to sue the porn star for discussing her alleged affair with him
4:37AM ( 1 day ago )
AP Business - Corporate News
Florence strengthens to Category 4, takes aim at Carolinas
Florence explodes into potentially catastrophic Category 4 hurricane, closes in on North and South Carolina
8:12PM ( 13 minutes ago )
California aims to drop fossil fuels for electricity by 2045
California has set a goal of phasing out all fossil fuels from the state's electricity sector by 2045 under legislation signed by Gov. Jerry Brown
8:00PM ( 25 minutes ago )
Judge appoints bank trustee for Hawaiian heiress' millions
A judge has ruled that a 92-year-old Native Hawaiian heiress doesn't have sufficient mental capacity to manage her $215-million trust
7:45PM ( 40 minutes ago )
Hurricane Olivia approaches Hawaii with heavy wind, rain
Hurricane Olivia is expected to approach Hawaii in the next day as either a high-end tropical storm or a low-end hurricane
7:22PM ( 1 hour ago )
Case against officer who killed neighbor to go to grand jury
Case against Dallas officer who shot and killed neighbor will go to grand jury
6:47PM ( 1 hour ago )