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00:00:00
>> He's arguably the most powerful man accused of sexual misconduct amid the MeToo era. But for now, CBS Chairman and Chief Executive, Les Moonves is keeping his job. The company's board of directors, which on Monday discussed claims made by six women in a New Yorker article. Issued a statement saying only that it will hire outside council to conduct an independent investigation into Moonves's alleged behavior.
00:00:26
And that quote, no other action on the matter was taken at the meeting. Reuters Carl O'Donnell is covering the story.>> It's a surprising outcome for a couple of reasons. One, there's still gonna be the question of whether his presence at the helm of this company could, in any way, bias the investigation.
00:00:45
That should be addressed by the fact that they're gonna bring on a third party law firm to do it, so in theory, he'll have no influence over it whatsoever. And then, clearly, there's some public relations liability that they're keeping him on while this is the case.>> Something else the outcome appears to underscore, the power Moonves may wield over the board.
00:01:04
>> A key thing to remember is that this is a board that Moonves was able to persuade to issue a special dividend that could effectively strip Shari Redstone, the controlling shareholder, of her power. So this was a board that collaborated with him in a coup of the existing power structure of the company.
00:01:23
>> Moonves is locked in a battle over control of CBS with the companies largest shareholder, National Amusements, which is owned by Shari Redstone and her father, Sumner. Shari has proposed merging CBS with Viacom, also owned by National Amusements. Regarding the allegations, Moonves admitted that he quote, may have made some women uncomfortable by making advances, but that he had never used his position to harm anyone's career.
00:01:51
Reuters has been unable to independently verify the women's claims. Moonves' wife Julie Chen, co-host of CBS's The Talk, says she fully supports her husband and stands by his statement. Still O'Donnell says that many media watchers do expect that Moonves could ultimately lose his job.>> If this investigation has the same results as The New Yorker article, it would be very hard for them not to fire Les Moonves.
00:02:20
>> CBS's stock closed down 5% on Monday.