CBS Head Les Moonves Remains Silent on Misconduct Allegations During Earnings Call
Moonves, 68, instead focused on financial results from CBS’ second quarter, which was better than analysts expected with a record $3.47 billion in revenue.
Ahead of Moonves’ introduction on the call, CBS head of investor relations Adam Townsend told listeners that questions would “be limited to the quarterly results of the company” due to “pending litigation and other matters, and on the advice of counsel.”
All eight analysts on the call did not ask any questions regarding the sexual harassment claims against Moonves, who could lose his job depending on the findings of law firms hired to investigate the allegations.
Ronan Farrow of the New Yorker reported on Friday accusations from six women alleging the CBS chief sexually harassed them or engaged in misconduct during incidents ranging from the 1980s to the 2000s.
In a statement to the magazine, Moonves said: “I recognize that there were times decades ago when I may have made some women uncomfortable by making advances. Those were mistakes, and I regret them immensely. But I always understood and respected—and abided by the principle—that ‘no’ means ‘no,’ and I have never misused my position to harm or hinder anyone’s career.”
The claims against Moonves have resulted in CBS losing more than $1 billion in value at a time when controlling shareholder Shari Redstone is seeking to merge the company with Viacom. Moonves is a strong proponent against such a move, and CBS in May sued Redstone’s company, National Amusements, in order to block the merger.