CBS Corp. Chief Executive Officer Leslie Moonves, whose job is in jeopardy due to sexual- harassment allegations, may find a little solace in his company’s continued success.
The company, owner of the most-watched TV network, reported on Thursday sales and profit that beat analysts’ estimates, crediting pay-TV fees and the growth of its All Access and Showtime streaming services.
While the earnings would normally cheer investors, Moonves’ uncertain future and his legal battle with CBS’s controlling shareholders hang over the company. The board of CBS has begun an investigation into allegations that Moonves sexually harassed six women, and has hired two law firms to oversee the probe. The CEO’s name has begun disappearing from nonprofits, websites and other venues — sometimes at his request.
The board announced the investigation last week, after the New Yorker reported on women who alleged they were harassed by Moonves and said their careers suffered when they refused his advances. The Los Angeles Times reported Thursday that the board knew about allegations several months ago.
Moonves, 68, spoke as expected on the company’s call with analysts, although CBS warned at the start that the company wouldn’t discuss the harassment claims.
CBS shares were down about 1 percent in extended trading after the results were announced. At the close in New York, they have dropped about 8 percent since the New Yorker report.
CBS’s CEO is also in a legal fight with his controlling shareholder. Sumner Redstone’s National Amusements, now led by Shari Redstone, holds an 80 percent voting stake in CBS and has pushed the company to recombine with Viacom Inc., another family holding. CBS took steps to dilute National Amusements’ voting control and the matter is now in court.
New York-based CBS said second-quarter earnings rose to $1.12 a share, beating estimates of $1.11. Revenue grew 6 percent $3.47 billion, exceeding projections of $3.46 billion.
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