Les Moonves: No immediate CBS action on harassment claims

CBS didn't take immediate action regarding CEO Les Moonves amid accusations by multiple women of sexual harassment after board members gathered Monday to discuss the situation.

The revelations come amid a legal battle for control of the USA television giant - between the Redstone family, which controls CBS, and the board, chaired by Moonves. Actress and writer Illeana Douglas told The New Yorker she was sacked from a series and told that she would never work at the network again.

CBSi and Entertainment Tonight are both owned by CBS.

"CBS Corporation announced today that its Board of Directors is in the process of selecting outside counsel to conduct an independent investigation", the board said in a statement.

CBS also announced Monday that the annual shareholder meeting scheduled for Aug 10 has been indefinitely postponed.

On the ad front, it has been business as usual since The New Yorker story broke, according to multiple media buyers.

Earlier on Monday, USA Today prematurely tweeted that Moonves was suspended before quickly retracting the report.

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Ross has since received backlash on Twitter, with critics saying such comments dismiss the claims made by these women.

CBS had previously retained attorney Betsy Plevan of Proskauer Rose to conduct an independent investigation of alleged misconduct at CBS News in the wake of a report by the Washington Post that led to the firing of Charlie Rose, co-host of "CBS This Morning".

Mr Moonves, who is chairman and chief executive of CBS, told the New Yorker he regretted "immensely" having "made some women uncomfortable" in the past.

The host then pointed out how Moonves hired him and has stood by the show. "All allegations of personal misconduct are to be taken seriously", they said in a statement. "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", Moonves, who serves as CBS's executive chairman and CEO, said.

Meanwhile, CFRA Research downgraded CBS on Monday from buy to hold, citing the unclear near-term outlook for the company.

"Half of that Ronan Farrow article was about "60 Minutes", Jeff Fager, the way that sexual harassment claims were handled", Hagey said before the board's decision.

Moonves, who has been accused of sexual misconduct by six women., has faced calls from Me Too activists to step aside.

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