CBS makes it official: Leslie Moonves is out

CBS CEO Leslie Moonves hit with six additional claims of sexual harassment and assault

- CBS Chief Executive Les Moonves is officially out at the network following new allegations of sexual misconduct.

CBS said $20 million will be donated to one or more organizations that support #MeToo and workplace equality for women. The donation, which will be made immediately, has been deducted from any severance benefits that may be due Moonves following the Board's ongoing independent investigation led by Covington & Burling and Debevoise & Plimpton. Any severance to Moonves will depend on the results of CBS' internal investigation into the harassment allegations. Chief Operating Officer Joseph Ianniello will serve as President and Acting CEO while the Board conducts a search for a permanent successor.

The New Yorker magazine reported the latest allegations included Moonves forcing women to perform oral sex and retaliating when advances were turned away.

Redstone's allies will point to her position as controlling shareholder; accuse Moonves of plotting a jailbreak attempt; and cite the misconduct allegations. "I haven't talked about this before, because when you think about it, the most powerful media executive in America has now resigned in the wake of this Me Too movement - and he's my boss, or he was my boss", she said at the beginning of the show, adding that Moonves "always treated me fairly and with respect". It's unclear at this time who will succeed Moonves as CBS' CEO.

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Six more women have made bone-chilling allegations of abuse, harassment and retaliation against Les Moonves. Speculation about Moonves' departure swirled last week with news reports that the executive was in negotiations to leave with a potential payout of $100 million, an amount that drew criticism from #MeToo advocates and others.

National Amusements will appoint six new independent directors to the CBS board, including former Time Warner CEO Richard Parsons. He did not tell The New Yorker which three he was acknowledging.

Moonves and Redstone were locked in a tug of war even before July 27, when Ronan Farrow of The New Yorker first reported on alleged harassment by Moonves.

In addition to the Moonves departure, CBS announced Sunday a resolution of that dispute, which includes an agreement that the stockholder, National Amusements, won't propose a merger for at least two years. In a new statement to The New Yorker, Moonves acknowledged three of the encounters but said they were consensual.

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Moonves for his part denies the allegations, according to Fox News. All of them said they believed their careers had suffered because they rejected his advances.

Under Moonves's contract, the 68-year-old could be owed as much as US$180 million in severance - as well as a production deal - but the CEO had been facing challenges on a number of fronts.

"The appalling accusations in this article are untrue", Moonves responded in part to the second report Sunday. She wrote years after, when she made a decision to leave Hollywood for the rough and tumble classrooms of LA, "As an executive in the entertainment industry in the days when women were few and not particularly endeared by the powerful, I learned to be strong and tough".

Moonves was an advocate for the traditional broadcast network model when others anxious it was becoming obsolete, but he also launched streaming services for CBS entertainment and news.

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