Saturday, September 29, 2018

CBS Gets Subpoenas About Les Moonves

CBS Corp. said Friday it received subpoenas from the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office and the New York City Commission on Human Rights regarding allegations of sexual harassment by Leslie Moonves and others, in the first sign of outside investigations into the workplace culture at the network.

In addition, CBS said the New York State Attorney General’s Office has requested information from the company on the matter.

According to The Wall Street Journal, CBS, which disclosed the inquiries in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing, has retained two law firms to investigate allegations against Mr. Moonves and other claims. The company’s board has been under fire for its handling of the Moonves matter amid questions about whether it responded promptly enough when rumors first surfaced about his alleged behavior.

Moonves was forced to resign as chairman and chief executive of CBS earlier this month after accusations that he had harassed and assaulted several women many years ago surfaced in stories in the New Yorker and Vanity Fair.

While Mr. Moonves acknowledged in a statement that he “may have made some women uncomfortable” by making advances, he denied ever forcing himself on anyone or harming the careers of any women who rebuffed his advances.

CBS is conducting a search for a new chief executive. In the interim, Chief Operating Officer Joe Ianniello was named president and acting chief executive officer.

The firms CBS has asked to investigate are also tasked with probing the culture at CBS overall, including CBS News, where “CBS This Morning” anchor Charlie Rose was fired last fall after he was accused of harassment by multiple women.

Rose acknowledged behaving “insensitively” at times but said he didn’t believe all the accusations against him were accurate.

Jeff Fager, the longtime executive producer of “60 Minutes” also was let go after he sent a note seen as threatening to a CBS News reporter who was writing about allegations that had behaved inappropriately with women and condoned a hostile work environment at the news magazine.

Mr. Fager has denied those allegations.

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