Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Partly Cloudy Night 27° Partly Cloudy
News >  Nation

Les Moonves officially out at CBS without $120M severance package after sexual misconduct scandal

In this Sept. 19, 2017 photo, Les Moonves, chairman and CEO of CBS Corporation, poses at the premiere of the new television series “Star Trek: Discovery” in Los Angeles. (Chris Pizzello / Associated Press)
In this Sept. 19, 2017 photo, Les Moonves, chairman and CEO of CBS Corporation, poses at the premiere of the new television series “Star Trek: Discovery” in Los Angeles. (Chris Pizzello / Associated Press)
By Kate Feldman New York Daily News

Les Moonves won’t get his $120 million severance after all.

The disgraced former CBS CEO won’t see a dime from the network after its board of directors finished its investigation into a series of sexual misconduct allegations against him.

“With regard to Mr. Moonves, we have determined that there are grounds to terminate for cause, including his willful and material misfeasance, violation of Company policies and breach of his employment contract, as well as his willful failure to cooperate fully with the Company’s investigation,” CBS said in a statement Monday.

“Mr. Moonves will not receive any severance payment from the Company.”

More than a dozen women have accused Moonves of sexual harassment and assault dating back to the late ’80s, but he has denied all allegations of nonconsensual sex.

Investigators said that the former boss was “evasive and untruthful at times and to have deliberately lied about and minimized the extent of his sexual misconduct” during interviews with lawyers and allegedly destroyed evidence, according to an internal CBS report acquired by The New York Times.

He stepped down in September.

Moonves is among the biggest names taken down during the #MeToo era, including a number within CBS’ walls: “CBS This Morning” anchor Charlie Rose and “60 Minutes” executive producer Jeff Fager were also ousted after multiple harassment allegations.

The network’s investigators, however said that “harassment and retaliation are not pervasive” within the company, according to Monday’s statement.

“However, the investigators learned of past incidents of improper and unprofessional conduct, and concluded that the Company’s historical policies, practices and structures have not reflected a high institutional priority on preventing harassment and retaliation,” the network said.

“The investigation determined that the resources devoted to the Company’s Human Resources function, to training and development, and to diversity and inclusion initiatives have been inadequate, given the size and complexity of CBS’ businesses. Employees also cited past incidents in which HR and the Company did not hold high performers accountable for their conduct and protect employees from retaliation.”

Moonves’ wife, former “The Talk” host Julie Chen, has been one of his few supporters left at the network.

“He has always been a kind, decent and moral human being,” she tweeted in July. “I fully support my husband and stand behind him and his statement.”

Late last week, CBS Corp. donated $20 million to organizations that fight sexual harassment, including Time’s Up, the New York Women’s Foundation, Producers Guild of America Foundation, the Women’s Media Center and the Sundance Institute’s Momentum program.

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

Local journalism is essential.

Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.

Active Person

Subscribe to the Coronavirus newsletter

Get the day’s latest Coronavirus news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter.