×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

CBS Stock Tumbles on Reports of Sexual-Harassment Allegations Against CEO Leslie Moonves

UPDATED: Shares of CBS took a sharp downturn Friday — falling more than 6% — after reports that CEO Leslie Moonves is the subject of a New Yorker exposé revealing that he has been accused of incidents of sexual harassment dating back more than two decades.

The claims in the New Yorker piece, by Ronan Farrow, reportedly include incidents of unwanted touching and kissing. The CBS chief has been married to CBS personality Julie Chen since 2004.

It’s not immediately known who Moonves’ accusers are. The New Yorker piece was said to be set to publish Friday.

CBS stock closed down 6.1% Friday, to $54.01 per share, representing an approximately $1.4 billion loss of market value.

In a statement, CBS Corp. said it would investigate any claims made against Moonves.

“All allegations of personal misconduct are to be taken seriously,” CBS said in a statement. “The independent directors of CBS have committed to investigating claims that violate the company’s clear policies in that regard. Upon the conclusion of that investigation, which involves recently reported allegations that go back several decades, the board will promptly review the findings and take appropriate action.”

CBS, in its statement, noted that the reported timing of the New Yorker piece “comes in the midst of the company’s very public legal dispute.” That’s a reference to the legal battle between CBS’s board and Shari Redstone, whose National Amusements (which owns a controlling stake in CBS) is attempting to force a merger between Viacom and CBS.

Shari Redstone, through a spokeswoman, said she hopes for a “thorough, open and transparent” investigation into allegations against Moonves. The rep also said, “The malicious insinuation that Ms. Redstone is somehow behind the allegations of inappropriate personal behavior by Mr. Moonves or today’s reports is false and self-serving.”

Amid a decline in the broader market, shares of Viacom closed up 4.6%. Separately Friday, Viacom announced the acquisition of AwesomenessTV, a digital media company that targets Gen Z audiences, at a significant discount from its prior valuation.

Farrow’s in the New Yorker last October on Harvey Weinstein detailed sexual misconduct allegations against the erstwhile Hollywood titan, following an initial report by the New York Times.

More TV

  • CBS HEADQUARTERS

    CBS Awards $20 Million in Moonves' Severance to 18 Anti-Harassment Groups

    CBS Corp. said Friday it would award $20 million that was originally earmarked for severance for its former CEO, Leslie Moonves, to 18 different organizations that work to eliminate sexual harassment in the workplace. “These organizations represent different critical approaches to combatting sexual harassment, including efforts to change culture and improve gender equity in the workplace, [...]

  • Kevin Reilly Variety Cover

    Kevin Reilly Named Content Chief for WarnerMedia Streaming Service

    Kevin Reilly — a veteran television exec who has led programming at NBC, FX, Fox, and most recently Turner Broadcasting — has been tapped to head content strategy for the still-nascent streaming service that WarnerMedia plans to launch next year. Reilly, who has led programming at Turner brands TNT and TBS since 2015, will serve [...]

  • Food Network Strikes Multi-Year Deal With

    Food Network Strikes Multi-Year Deal With Ina Garten

    Food Network has struck a new multi-year deal with Ina Garten, the celebrity chief behind its signature daytime series “Barefoot Contessa,” the latest in a series of talent pacts being signed by the network’s parent, Discovery, The deal includes new seasons of the program, along with several hour-long seasonal specials, the Discovery-owned cable network said Friday. [...]

  • Ryan KadroPaleyLive NY: The News Is

    'CBS This Morning' Chief Ryan Kadro to Exit

    Ryan Kadro, the executive producer of “CBS This Morning,” told staffers of the A.M. program Friday that he would step down from his position in early January, citing a desire to find a new challenge. “Nearly nine years after we created CBS This Morning, I’m stepping aside and leaving it in very capable hands.  This [...]

  • Dirty John Remote Controlled Podcast

    Listen: 'Dirty John' Boss Talks Playing With Perspective to Dive Into John Meehan's Mind

    Welcome to “Remote Controlled,” a podcast from Variety featuring the best and brightest in television, both in front of and behind the camera. In this week’s episode, “Dirty John” showrunner Alexandra Cunningham sits down with Variety‘s senior features editor of TV, Danielle Turchiano, to talk about working with Connie Britton to develop a scripted version of [...]

  • Turner Greenlights Final Season of German

    Turner Greenlights Third and Final Season of German Gangster Series '4 Blocks'

    Turner International has ordered the third and final season of the hit German gangster series “4 Blocks,” which world-premiered at the Berlin Film Festival last year and went on to win multiple awards. The third season will comprise six episodes and will be directed by Özgür Yıldırım, who had co-helmed Season 2 with Oliver Hirschbiegel. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content