Culture

USC Annenberg suspends use of Les Moonves' name on media center

USC Annenberg suspends use of Les Moonves' name on media center”

Moonves was called out recently in a bombshell "New Yorker" piece by Ronan Farrow detailing a decades-long history of sexual harassment on behalf of the executive. The Board took no further action at this meeting pending discussion with counsel as to appropriate next steps.

Also on Wednesday, Moonves asked the USC Media Center to "temporarily" stop using his name inside the 20,000-square-foot Julie Chen/Leslie Moonves and CBS Media Center until the CBS board's investigation has concluded.

Moonves has lost his seat on the USC School of Cinematic Arts Board of Councilors, an advisory body to the dean, until at least October, according to a university statement Wednesday. While many at CBS are shell-shocked by the turn of events and already speculating that Joe Ianniello, Moonves' chief operating officer, is primed to take over - at least temporarily - if the embattled chief exits.

CBS Corp's quarterly revenue topped Wall Street expectations and CEO Les Moonves delivered an upbeat message to investors about the media company's future on Thursday, without addressing allegations of sexual misconduct against him reported last Friday. "This is a time when we all are appropriately focused on how to help improve our society, and we at CBS are committed to being part of the solution".

"I recognize that there were times decades ago when I may have made some women uncomfortable by making advances", said Moonves in a statement to the New Yorker. The company's board of directors decided not to take any immediate disciplinary action against Moonves on Monday. "Those were mistakes, and I regret them immensely".

The state-of-the-art media center's name was changed in 2015 after a pledged gift from CBS, University of Southern California alumna Chen and her husband, Moonves.

At the start of an analysts conference call on CBS earnings that was also broadcast on business television CNBC, the company said it would not take questions about Moonves' reported behavior or its legal battle with majority shareholder Shari Redstone over control of the US media group.

The investigation will also look into recent allegations that the culture at CBS and CBS News tolerated abusive behavior.

The board did not vote on whether to suspend Moonves, however.



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