CBS NewsLatest News and Opinion
Posted Tuesday 9/11/18 at 9:05PM EDT
Les Moonves' ouster from CBS took many by surprise because he seemed "too big to jail"
"The simple fact is that it is deeply ingrained in us to think some men get to mistreat women. Some men are too big to jail," says Lili Loofbourow, pointing out that Moonves didn't get the boot until after another set of accusers came forward Sunday with even more disturbing stories. "We should accept no calculus that says six accusations aren’t enough but 12 are," she says. "The pragmatic politics here are as straightforward as they are irrational and nasty: The P.R. mills that grind people into capital determined that Moonves could weather one scandal enough to eat dinner in public and fight for his standing, but not two." Loofbourow adds: "Men like Moonves do all they can to encourage this assessment of their value, of course. They present themselves as essential to the success of the enterprise, knit their fate to the company’s. Moonves is more than diplomatic in interviews, but he makes clear that Warner Bros. was No. 1 when he left it, that CBS is now the No. 1 network under him, and that his biggest question when he arrived at CBS was whether he would be able to fix its problems: 'Am I ever going to get this right? How am I going to be able to figure out how to rebuild this place?' Men like this characterize accusations as conspiracies to bring them down because of their prominence ...The boards they install and executives they hire only serve to bolster the illusion that without these big men, the system will not hold. Those in more junior ranks who know of or encounter allegations are faced with the entire scaffolding of the institution arrayed against them. (Here’s what’s weird, though: This particular strain of corporate self-centering actually reveals the men in question to be abysmal stewards of their companies. Anyone whose organization is solely reliant on him has failed; the very claim that they’re irreplaceable speaks to fragility, not robustness.)"
- CBS does have the right to reveal findings of its Les Moonves investigation, despite a "Confidentiality" section in his exit agreement
- The Talk co-hosts support Gayle King's call for transparency in Moonves investigation
- Time's Up calls on CBS to donate $120 million from Moonves' severance
- CBS interim CEO Joe Ianniello was Moonves' right-hand man for a decade, which means he's unlikely to keep the job permanently
- 60 Minutes executive producer Jeff Fager is still in his job as an investigation probes the culture of CBS News
- Howard Stern unveils a "Les Moonves puppet" to mock his former foe
Posted Tuesday 9/11/18 at 12:52PM EDT
Gayle King calls for CBS to release the results of its Les Moonves investigation
Speaking on CBS This Morning, King echoed women's rights advocates who were stunned by reports that CBS might keep details of its probe of the former CBS CEO confidential. “I’m sick and sick of the story and sickened the by everything that we keep hearing,” King said. Regarding the plan to keep the report private, she said: “How can we have this investigation and not know how it comes out? Les Moonves has been on the record, he says, listen, he didn’t do these things, that it was consensual, that he hasn’t hurt anybody’s career. I would think it would be in his best interests for us to hear what the report finds out.”
Posted Tuesday 9/04/18 at 9:45AM EDT
CBS News requests removal from Charlie Rose sexual harassment lawsuit
CBS News says its three former employees suing Rose have no grounds for claims against the news organization because it can't be responsible for his alleged sexual harassment. ALSO: Charlie Rose made a rare public appearance at John McCain's funeral.
Posted Thursday 8/30/18 at 1:33AM EDT
John McCain's funeral will get "POTUS-level" TV coverage
CBS, NBC and ABC are all planning extensive coverage with NBC Nightly News anchor Lester Holt and ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos on the ground in Arizona ahead of Sunday's private funeral for the late U.S. senator. (CBS Evening News' Jeff Glor is off this week.)
Posted Saturday 8/11/18 at 4:53AM EDT
60 Minutes boss Jeff Fager is back at work, reports CBS News
Source: CBS News
Executive producer Fager returned to work on Friday, five days after CBS said he would extend his vacation amid a probe into CBS News and Les Moonves for alleged misconduct. CBS News reports, based on "multiple sources," that Fager addressed his staff and said he's back at work.
Posted Friday 8/10/18 at 1:34PM EDT
CBS Sunday Morning is headed to primetime to celebrate its 40th anniversary
Jane Pauley will host Sunday’s Best: Celebrating 40 Years of CBS Sunday Morning, airing on Friday, Sept. 14 at 8 p.m.
Posted Thursday 8/09/18 at 7:12PM EDT
Report: 60 Minutes boss tolerated a star producer's "abusive and alarming" workplace behavior
Source: The Washington Post
Allegations that senior producer Michael Rudutzky was an "out-of-control guy, especially but not exclusively toward women" were touched upon in Ronan Farrow's bombshell New Yorker story on Les Moonves. Farrow reported how Rudutzky -- who quietly left CBS News in May -- allegedly threatened to throw furniture at another senior producer, Vicki Gordon, and twisted her arm behind her back, an allegation that he categorically denies. 60 Minutes executive producer Jeff Fager had Gordon apologize to mitigate conflict in the office, Farrow reported, but the 60 Minutes boss insists he didn't stop her from going to human resources. The Washington Post's Erik Wemple has uncovered further allegations of Rudutzky behaving badly. "According to numerous sources who worked with him and witnessed his conduct, the star producer engaged in behavior that ranged from screaming at colleagues to throwing objects — behavior they claim was tolerated for too long as Radutzky brought in exclusive 'gets' that burnished the 60 Minutes brand," Wemple reports. Wemple adds: "These allegations date back years — which is what makes them so powerful and so troubling: Under Fager’s leadership, 60 Minutes held on to an employee accused of assaulting Gordon, not to mention other allegations that point to a general pattern of troubling behavior." Former 60 Minutes employees say there was a "professional mind-meld" between Fager and Radutzky, leaving staffers in fear of reporting Radutzky's behavior. Wemple reports: "Those working under Radutzky knew whom they’d be challenging if they ever complained about his conduct. Said a former colleague, 'Michael made it clear to everyone that he had Jeff’s ear. … He held that as sort of a latent threat over everyone.'"
Posted Monday 8/06/18 at 2:50PM EDT
Charlie Rose reportedly underwent "major surgery" last month
Source: The Blast
According to The Blast, Rose's "major surgery" was revealed in court documents filed in response to litigation over his CBS sexual harassment scandal. Rose's attorney said the former CBS This Morning co-anchor underwent abdominal surgery on July 17 and is taking six weeks to recover. “Mr. Rose’s recent hospitalization and recovery has left him unable to devote the time necessary to work with counsel or prepare a defense to the claims,” his attorney explained.
Posted Sunday 8/05/18 at 3:40PM EDT
60 Minutes boss Jeff Fager "has decided to stay on vacation" as CBS probes misconduct allegations
Fager, the former CBS News chairman who serves as executive producer of 60 Minutes, was scheduled to return to work on Monday, his first day in the office since Ronan Farrow's New Yorker exposé that alleged he oversaw a "toxic" work environment that included Fager himself acting inappropriately. “Having heard the investigation will be wrapping up soon, Jeff has decided to stay on vacation,” CBS News said in a statement today. Fager had denied the allegations to The New Yorker. “It is wrong that our culture can be falsely defined by a few people with an axe to grind who are using an important movement as a weapon to get even, and not by the hundreds of women and men that have thrived, both personally and professionally, at 60 Minutes,” he said.
Posted Thursday 8/02/18 at 3:05AM EDT
CBS board hires two high-powered law firms to investigate Les Moonves, CBS News, and "cultural issues at all levels of CBS"
The board announced Tuesday it has hired the law firms Covington & Burling and Debevoise & Plimpton to "conduct a full investigation of the allegations in recent press reports about Chairman and CEO Leslie Moonves, CBS News and cultural issues at all levels of CBS." The board also named a special committee to oversee the investigation. Moonves will have no role in the investigation.
- Civil rights attorney Lisa Bloom, who briefly represented Harvey Weinstein, says the CBS board hired "Big Law defense firms" that would only give Moonves a "wrist slap"
- Moonves exits the Anita Hill-led commission on sexual misconduct
- CBS News president David Rhodes reportedly told his staff the new revelations “test your capacity for disappointment"
- USC School of Cinematic Arts suspends Moonves from its board
Posted Wednesday 8/01/18 at 12:04AM EDT
Les Moonves sexual harassment allegations look like further proof that abusive power players shape the stories that are told
Moonves is a one of the most influential gatekeepers in what stories are told and how they are told, and his impact extends all the way through CBS' many subsidiaries, from CBS News to CBS All Access to The CW and Simon & Schuster. So it should be concerning that somebody accused of sexual harassment has overseen a CBS Corp. that has been brimming with sexual misconduct allegations, from 60 Minutes to Charlie Rose to former NCIS producer Brad Kern and CW Arrowverse producer Andrew Kreisberg. "The point is simply this: People accused of sexual harassment and assault have formed the backbone of police procedurals, teen superhero dramas and some of the country’s (previously) most trusted news programming," says Caroline Framke. "How did these men shape the stories they were telling to millions? Which stories haven’t been told at all? Whose voices were silenced or dismissed as unimportant? Who was elevated, and who became collateral damage? What, exactly, have we lost because of powerful egos throwing their weight around?"
Posted Friday 7/27/18 at 6:20PM EDT
Six women accuse CBS' Les Moonves of sexual harassment in New Yorker exposé
Source: The New Yorker
“What happened to me was a sexual assault, and then I was fired for not participating,” said actress Illeana Douglas, one of six women to come forward accusing Moonves of sexual misconduct, including four on the record, to Pulitzer-winning writer Ronan Farrow. As Farrow pointed out, Moonves called the #MeToo movement a "watershed moment" last November. "I think it’s important that a company’s culture will not allow for this," he said. "And that’s the thing that’s far-reaching. There’s a lot we’re learning. There’s a lot we didn’t know.” But, writes Farrow, "Moonves’s private actions belie his public statements. Six women who had professional dealings with him told me that, between the nineteen-eighties and the late aughts, Moonves sexually harassed them. Four described forcible touching or kissing during business meetings, in what they said appeared to be a practiced routine. Two told me that Moonves physically intimidated them or threatened to derail their careers. All said that he became cold or hostile after they rejected his advances, and that they believed their careers suffered as a result." Aside from Douglas, the women who've spoken on the record with Farrow include writer Janet Jones, who alleges that Moonves tried to forcibly kiss her; producer Christine Peters, who alleges that Moonves put his hand up her skirt during a meeting; and Emmy-winning The Tracey Ullman Show writer Dinah Kingo, who says a potential deal fell through after she rejected a date with a then-married Moonves. In a statement to The New Yorker, 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. This is a time when we all are appropriately focused on how we help improve our society, and we at CBS are committed to being part of the solution.”
- Ronan Farrow's Moonves bombshell also tackled sexual misconduct accusations at CBS News and 60 Minutes: "19 current and former employees told @RonanFarrow that Jeﬀ Fager, the former chairman of CBS News and the current executive producer of 60 Minutes, allowed harassment in the division."
- "Men at CBS News who were accused of sexual misconduct were promoted, even as the company paid settlements to women with complaints," Farrow writes, based on interviews with 30 current and former CBS employees.
- Julie Chen tweeted a statement in support of her husband: "I have known my husband, Leslie Moonves, since the late ’90s, and I have been married to him for almost 14 years. Leslie is a good man and a loving father, devoted husband and inspiring corporate leader. He has always been a kind, decent and moral human being. I fully support my husband and stand behind him and his statement.”
Posted Friday 7/20/18 at 5:44AM EDT
Report: 60 Minutes executive producer hired a law firm to water down a Washington Post story on his role in the Charlie Rose scandal
Source: The Daily Beast
60 Minutes executive producer Jeff Fager, the former CBS News chairman who installed Rose on 60 Minutes in 2008 and tapped him for CBS This Morning in 2011, was barely mentioned in The Washington Post's follow-up May 3 story on Rose's alleged sexual harassment. That's because, according to The Daily Beast, Fager hired the law firm Clare Locke, which has a reputation for "killing stories" about sexual harassment. Clare Locke has done work on behalf of Matt Lauer, according to The Daily Beast, and has used legal tactics against Katie Couric, CNN and Rolling Stone over potential stories. The Daily Beast says The Post's story was to contain a lot of information about Fager, but the story was "effectively neutered" thanks to the law firm's tactics.
Posted Monday 7/16/18 at 7:14AM EDT
CBS Evening News anchor Jeff Glor lands an interview with President Trump
Source: The Hollywood Reporter
Glor is the first network evening news anchor to interview Trump one-on-one since NBC News' Lester Holt's interview in May 2017.
Posted Thursday 5/31/18 at 9:13PM EDT
Report: CBS is considering replacing CBS Evening News anchor Jeff Glor after just six months
Source: Page Six
Glor, who was largely unknown when he replaced Scott Pelley last December, has lost 1.5 million viewers in the six months since his debut. According to Page Six, CBS News bosses "are already thinking about replacing him" if the ratings trend doesn't reverse.