Finance Finance News Network Ten owner CBS says company president resigned over abuse allegations

Network Ten owner CBS says company president resigned over abuse allegations

CBS chairman Leslie Moonves
The sudden resignation came after new allegations came to light. Photo: Getty
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Network Ten’s new American owner, CBS Corp, says Leslie Moonves has resigned as company chairman and president effective immediately amid allegations of sexual abuse.

The company released a statement on Sunday confirming the move and that Joseph Ianniello, CBS’ chief operating officer, has been appointed as his interim replacement.

The announcement came after fresh allegations of sexual assault and harassment were levelled at Mr Moonves in the New Yorker magazine on Sunday night (AEST).

The New Yorker reported the women’s accusations, which include Mr Moonves forcing them to perform oral sex and retaliating when advances were turned away.

Mr Moonves acknowledged having sexual relations with three of the women, but said they were consensual and that he had never used his position to hurt women’s careers.

CBS said that it took the allegations very seriously, and that its board of directors was investigating.

CBS outbid Australian media moguls Bruce Gordon and Lachlan Murdoch last year to buy Network Ten.

Mr Moonves last month announced the company would launch its CBS All Access streaming service in Australia, offering a rival to operators like Netflix and Stan.

National Amusements agreed to avoid pressing for a merger of CBS and Viacom, which is also controlled by National Amusements, for at least two years.

CBS and controlling shareholder National Amusements Inc have also been in a four-month-long legal battle over control of CBS.

CBS announced six new independent board members were also elected while five independent directors and one director affiliated with National Amusements Inc due to step down.

-with agencies