New Yorker writer says women feared retaliation

Les Moonves

Les Moonves

The New Yorker story is written by the magazine's Ronan Farrow. Brad Bessey, who used to serve as an executive producer of The Talk and Entertainment Tonight, said Moonves' statement is "straightforward & honest - which is how he leads".

"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", Moonves says.

Moonves is embroiled in a bruising legal battle with CBS vice chair Shari Redstone, whose holding company effectively controls CBS and its sister media company Viacom.

A spokesperson for Redstone said she was not involved in the surfacing of allegations against Moonves.

Hours later, The New Yorker had still not published the article or responded to requests for comment.

CBS says independent members of its board of directors are investigating personal misconduct claims after reports that the company's chief executive, Les Moonves, is the subject of an upcoming New Yorker story detailing sexual misconduct allegations.

CBS says it is investigating the claims.

Moonves has been running CBS for more than a decade, and is credited with turning it into the most-watched broadcast network on television for 15 of the past 16 years.

Farrow writes that 30 current and former employees of CBS told him that bad behavior extended from Moonves to important parts of the corporation, including CBS News and "60 Minutes".

Moonves, a 23-year veteran of CBS, is seen as one of the most successful media executives now working, having taken the network to the top of the ratings chart for many years, often with broad-based comedies and police procedurals.

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Bush and Central Intelligence Agency director under former president Barack Obama, said it amounted to an impeachable act. And John Brennan, former director of the National Counterterrorism Center under former president George W.

The New Yorker declined to comment, citing its policy of not commenting on reporting efforts before publication. "Along with that team, we will continue to focus on creating value for our shareowners". CBS' stock price (NYSE: CBS) plunged 6%, closing at $54.01.

National Amusements jumped into the controversy with a statement denying what it called "the malicious insinuation that Ms. Redstone is somehow behind the allegations of inappropriate personal behavior by Mr. Moonves or today's reports".

"Ms. Redstone hopes that the investigation of these allegations is thorough, open and transparent", the spokesperson said.

Moonves has been a singular presence at CBS for decades.

Combining CBS, which owns cable networks including Showtime as well as the CBS TV Network and CBS TV Studios, with Viacom, whose businesses include Paramount Pictures, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon and MTV, would have more negotiating leverage with cable and satellite companies, analysts said. At CBS, he commissioned hit shows such as "CSI" and "The Big Bang Theory". It narrowly retained its ratings crown in the 2017-18 season that ended in May.

Moonves has been married since 2004 to Julie Chen, a CBS news anchor and TV host.

The New Yorker report comes at a time when Moonves' professional life is in turmoil. The couple, who Wednesday in late 2004, have one son, Charlie, 8.

"I have known my husband, Leslie Moonves, since the mid-90s, and I have been married to him for nearly 14 years", she wrote.

"I fully support my husband and stand behind him and his statement", she tweeted.

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