Interim CBS Corp. chief government Joseph Ianniello took the helm on the media firm on Monday, only a day after longtime CEO Les Moonves stepped down amid a brand new crop of sexual misconduct allegations revealed within the New Yorker.
In an e-mail to CBS staff, obtained by HuffPost, Ianniello didn’t point out the controversy over Moonves’ departure or the continued investigations into sexual harassment and tradition on the firm. The topic line of the e-mail reads, “Wanting ahead.”
It’s not as if CBS has utterly washed its palms of Moonves. In a public submitting on Monday, the corporate mentioned Moonves would keep on for one yr to “carry out transition advisory providers.” Below the settlement, he additionally will get workplace providers and safety help from CBS for 2 years. These offers may very well be terminated early, relying on the outcomes of the corporate’s inner investigation.
The New Yorker story, revealed Sunday, was the second from investigative reporter Ronan Farrow detailing severe cultural points on the media firm, which has introduced in two outdoors regulation companies to research not solely Moonves’s conduct but in addition harassment points inside CBS Information.
“I’ve been with this Firm for 21 years, and I sit up for offering continuity and stability, whereas on the similar time fostering our tradition of innovation,” wrote Ianniello, a former Moonves deputy. “At the moment additionally marks a serious transition for all of us as Leslie Moonves departs from CBS. Les’ departure happens at a time once we are working from a place of nice strategic power.”
Solely towards the tip of his word to staff does Ianniello even trace at the concept CBS may need a cultural challenge with sexual harassment, writing: “In fact, additionally on the core of any firm is its tradition. And by no means has it been extra vital for us to make it abundantly clear that CBS has a steadfast dedication to variety, inclusion and a protected and constructive working surroundings. That is an integral a part of our development plan as collectively we unlock the immense skills throughout our whole worker base.”
One CBS worker referred to as that message “laughable.”
“The truth that he adopted the sentence about Moonves leaving with our ‘strategic power’ is simply … laughable,” mentioned the worker, who selected to stay nameless as a result of the staffer didn’t need to jeopardize their job. “After which to guide the dialogue of ‘firm tradition’ about variety? It simply feels so horribly flat.”
A CBS spokesman said that “CBS takes these allegations very significantly. Our Board of Administrators is conducting an intensive investigation of those issues, which is ongoing.” The corporate has declined to say extra concerning the investigation.
Moonves departed Sunday with 5 male board members as a part of a shakeup that, in a press launch, the CBS board attributed to a settlement with its guardian firm Nationwide Amusements. CBS has one of many oldest boards within the S&P 500, which some say contributed to its slowness to behave.
The board solely alluded to the misconduct allegations, saying the corporate would donate $20 million to Me Too-related causes. Relying on the outcomes of the inner investigation, Moonves might get as a lot as $120 million in severance funds, CBS introduced Monday in its submitting. The corporate will put the cash in a belief, awaiting the end result of the investigation.
The New Yorker’s first report on Moonves landed in July, detailing accusations from 12 ladies who mentioned that after they rejected his advances, he turned hostile and labored to discredit them professionally. CBS launched its investigation after the story was revealed however did little else ― even permitting Moonves to guide an investor name shortly afterward.
However on Sunday, Farrow revealed a second report describing extra accusations in opposition to Moonves introduced by six different ladies. One girl mentioned he compelled her to carry out oral intercourse on him whereas they labored collectively at Lorimar-Telepictures within the 1980s. She filed a legal criticism with the Los Angeles Police Division final yr, although prosecutors declined to pursue costs, citing expired statutes of limitations for the alleged crimes.
The girl mentioned she advised a CBS board member of those allegations — it isn’t clear if this board member is among the 5 males who stepped down on Sunday.
Moonves is denying the allegations.
“Unfaithful allegations from many years in the past are actually being made in opposition to me that aren’t per who I’m,” Moonves mentioned in a press release, revealed Sunday night. “Efficient instantly I’ll not be Chairman and Chief Govt Officer of CBS. I’m deeply saddened to be leaving the corporate. I want nothing however the most effective for the group, the newly comprised board of administrators and all of its staff.”
Jeff Fager, the pinnacle of “60 Minutes,” has additionally been accused of sexual misconduct on the firm, most just lately by a former intern who spoke to Farrow. However to this point, he stays in his function.
“There does appear to be a deeper drawback of sexual harassment and misconduct and it doesn’t appear to be they grappled with that in any significant manner,” mentioned Angelo Carusone, president of Media Issues for America, a liberal watchdog group.
Regardless of the splash of Moonves’s weekend resignation, activist teams that pushed for his departure have been sounding cautious notes on Monday, flagging Fager’s continued presence as a sticking level.
“Regardless of Moonves’ departure from CBS, the community continues to grapple with a deeply ingrained tradition of sexual harassment and misconduct,” Shaunna Thomas, co-founder of UltraViolet, a nationwide ladies’s group, mentioned in a press release. “If CBS plans to take sexual harassment and assault allegations significantly, they might want to conduct an intensive evaluation of their sexual harassment prevention and reporting insurance policies—and that can begin with firing Fager.”
Learn Ianniello’s full e-mail to CBS staff beneath.
At the moment the Board of Administrators named me as President and Appearing Chief Govt Officer of CBS Company. I’m honored to have this duty, and I’m excited to tackle a higher function. I’ve been with this Firm for 21 years, and I sit up for offering continuity and stability, whereas on the similar time fostering our tradition of innovation.
At the moment additionally marks a serious transition for all of us as Leslie Moonves departs from CBS. Les’ departure happens at a time once we are working from a place of nice strategic power. As you all know, there may be superb work occurring throughout the Firm, and I really feel assured we now have the most effective folks within the enterprise to proceed constructing on our excellent success.
Led by CBS and SHOWTIME (and their fast-growing direct-to-consumer streaming providers), in addition to our main market tv station group and Simon & Schuster, we even have lots of the greatest property within the trade.
The power and evolution of all of those companies has led us to the place we’re at present – a worldwide premium content material powerhouse. Repeatedly, we now have developed and executed methods that capitalize on our distinctive and advantageous place, and what’s most enjoyable is that we’re nonetheless within the early innings of that course of.
On the coronary heart of CBS’ ongoing success is its content material, and it’s the place our focus should stay. We now spend $7 billion a yr on programming, which is on par with among the largest corporations in our trade. Wanting forward, as consumption continues to evolve, so will we. However content material will all the time be on the core of our Firm.
In fact, additionally on the core of any firm is its tradition. And by no means has it been extra vital for us to make it abundantly clear that CBS has a steadfast dedication to variety, inclusion and a protected and constructive working surroundings. That is an integral a part of our development plan as collectively we unlock the immense skills throughout our whole worker base.
Alongside these traces, I need to take a minute to understand all of the improbable work you may have achieved these previous a number of months, as we now have continued to maneuver our Firm ahead irrespective of the challenges. It’s the folks of this Company that make CBS what it’s, and I’m humbled to be main this workforce. I additionally need to thank our outstanding Board of Administrators for his or her immense efforts throughout this time, and welcome our new Board members as nicely. There may be a lot extra to attain forward, and I thank everybody prematurely for all you’ll do as we construct on the nice success of CBS.