Les Moonves allegations: USC suspends CBS chief executive from board

  • Les Moonves allegations: USC suspends CBS chief executive from board

Les Moonves allegations: USC suspends CBS chief executive from board

USC's Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism also announced Wednesday morning that it would hold off on using the media center's current title, "The Julie Chen/Leslie Moonves and CBS Media Center", for the time being until the investigation against Moonves has concluded.

On Monday, CBS' board voted to launch a special investigation into claims made by six women in a New Yorker story by journalist Ronan Farrow.

The entertainment mogul was suspended from the board of the USC School of Cinematic Arts Wednesday. While many at CBS are shell-shocked by the turn of events and already speculating that Joe Ianniello, Moonves' chief operating officer, is primed to take over - at least temporarily - if the embattled chief exits.

In addition to being stripped of his board role for now, the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at The University of Southern California has also chose to remove the name of its student newsroom, which had been called the Julie Chen/Leslie Moonves CBS Media Center. In the article, six women recount instances of forcible touching and kissing during business meetings, as well as threats against their careers when they didn't yield to Moonves' alleged advances.

The investigation by the law firm Debevoise & Plimpton will be led by Mary Jo White, a former chair of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, CBS said. Viacom shares, conversely, have risen 3 percent during that time on investor expectations that the chances of a merger with CBS have increased.

The investigation will also look into recent allegations that the culture at CBS and CBS News tolerated abusive behavior. "The school said Moonves and his wife, Julie Chen, requested the change".

"Moonves was quoted in the New Yorker as saying that he "may have made some women uncomfortable by making advances", which he called mistakes that he regretted immensely, but that he understood "'no" means "no'" and had never used his position to harm anyone's career. "The board ... takes these allegations seriously and is committed to acting in the best interest of the Company and all of its shareholders, and is confident that the employees of CBS will continue to perform at a high level as this process unfolds". Moonves will have no role in the investigation, CBS said.