CBS Corp. is facing investigations by city and state officials in New York stemming from the reports of alleged sexual misconduct by former chairman-CEO Leslie Moonves and concerns about the working environment at the company.
CBS disclosed Friday in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing that it has received subpoenas from the New York District Attorney’s office and the city’s Commission on Human Rights. New York’s state Attorney General’s office has also “requested information about these matters,” the filing added.
CBS declined to comment beyond the filing.
“The Company is cooperating with the ongoing investigation and related inquiries,” the filing stated.
CBS is in the midst of an investigation being conducted by two outside law firms into allegations involving Moonves, as reported in two exposes published by Ronan Farrow in the New Yorker.
The New York investigations could add significantly to the upheaval at the company in the wake of Moonves’ forced resignation on Sept. 9 and the ongoing internal probe. Moonves is accused of sexual misconduct dating back years and of using his clout to harm the careers of women who rebuffed him; he has denied most of the allegations. The New Yorker expose also zeroed in on what numerous sources told Farrow was a frequently hostile working environment for women at CBS News, particularly “60 Minutes,” where longtime executive producer Jeff Fager was fired earlier this month.
CBS has been engulfed in corporate drama in recent months after launching a legal battle in May against its controlling shareholder, National Amusements Inc. That case was also settled on Sept. 9 amid Moonves’ ouster along with the installation of six new board members on the 13-member panel. Two other longtime board members resigned earlier this week as new member Richard Parsons, former head of Time Warner, was named interim chairman.
CBS is also in the midst of a search for a new CEO. Joe Ianniello, CBS’ chief operating officer, has taken on acting CEO duties in the interim.