Ronan Farrow’s #MeToo campaign brings down Leslie Moonves at CBS


Ronan Farrow’s #MeToo campaign brings down Leslie Moonves at CBS

Fred Mazelis

13 September 2018

The CBS Corporation this week announced the departure of its chairman and chief executive, Leslie Moonves. The announcement immediately followed the publication online of a second article by Ronan Farrow in the New Yorker detailing charges of sexual misconduct against the entertainment mogul.

In response to Farrow’s first article, posted on July 27, CBS initiated an inquiry, to be conducted by two prominent law firms, into the specific claims as well as the “workplace culture” at the firm.

The second article, posted September 9, includes six additional charges dating from the 1980s to the early 2000s. While the inquiry continues, Moonves has departed. He reportedly is due to receive up to $120 million in severance pay, but this could be reduced to zero depending on the outcome of the internal investigation. Replacing him on an interim basis is Joseph Ianniello, the current chief operating officer of CBS. The 13-member board of the company has been revamped, with six departures and six new members.

Moonves, one of the most powerful figures in Hollywood, has been at CBS for 23 years, the last 15 as chairman and chief executive. This tenure, unusually long for the cutthroat entertainment industry, is attributable to the formulas for profit-making programming and licensing fees that Moonves has successfully implemented. CBS is the world’s fifth largest entertainment company, with annual profits of about $13 billion.

Moonves, 68, is one the wealthiest figures in the industry, with compensation last year of $69.3 million. He is the beneficiary of truly obscene pay packages amounting to more than $1 billion between 2006 and 2017. Figures for 2016 show that Moonves was…

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