CBS’ Board of Directors announced Monday (July 30) that it is in the process of selecting outside counsel to conduct an independent investigation regarding sexual misconduct claims made against CBS Corporation CEO Les Moonves.
According to a release from the Board that didn’t specifically mention the allegations, “No other action was taken on this matter at today’s board meeting.”
News of the alleged misconduct by Moonves broke via a New Yorker feature from Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Ronan Farrow published on July 27. The piece states that the media mogul allegedly sexually harassed six women, physically intimidated two of them and threatened their career prospects with the network.
Moonves will stay on in his role at CBS as the independent investigation is conducted.
In a statement issued to The New Yorker, Moonves said: “I recognize that there were times decades ago when I may have made some women uncomfortable by making advances. Those were mistakes, and I regret them immensely. But I always understood and respected — and abided by the principle — that ‘no’ means ‘no,’ and I have never misused my position to harm or hinder anyone’s career.”
The Board has also decided to postpone CBS Corporation’s 2018 annual meeting of stockholders that was scheduled to be held on August 10. “The Board will determine a new record date for the 2018 annual meeting of stockholders and will publicly disclose the new date, time and location.”
That makes the second time the meeting, originally scheduled for mid-May, has been postponed, in the midst of a legal tussle between CBS and shareholder National Amusements, Inc. (NAI). That dispute has as a central component a potential merger between CBS and Viacom.
The U.S. broadcast network, home to such unscripted hits as Survivor, The Amazing Race and Big Brother, is slated to make its presentation for the Television Critics Association 2018 summer press tour on August 5th in Beverly Hills.
(With files from Barry Walsh)