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00:00:01
>> As if media company CBS didn't have enough to worry about with a brutal board room brawl between its largest shareholder Shari Redstone and top management over a desired merger with Viacom. Now, there's a company probe into allegations of personal misconduct by its star CEO Les Moonves. Reuters correspondent, Liana Baker, is on the story.
00:00:22
>> Moonves helps lead the turn around of CBS. He's been CEO since 2006. He's a very charismatic executive and investors have been behind him in recent years, supporting him as CBS bulk against the idea to merge with Viacom. So anything that takes Moonves out of the picture paves the way for potential CBS-Viacom merger.
00:00:45
And it really would settle the legal dispute between CBS and Viacom.>> The investigation comes on the heels of a New Yorker Magazine article published Friday with accusations against Moonves by six women ranging from sexual assault to unwanted advances spread across two decades. Reuters could not independently verify the accusations.
00:01:06
In a statement to Reuters, Moonves said quote, I recognize that there were times decades ago when I may have made some women uncomfortable by making advances. But I always understood and respected and abided by the principle that no means no. And I have never misused my position to harm or hinder anyone's career.
00:01:27
As Moonves is forced to step down, it would be the highest profile departure of a CEO of a publicly traded company since the Me Too movement began. Not only could this end his career, but it could also stop his battle to keep CBS out of the hands of Viacom.
00:01:43
CBS and majority shareholder, Shari Redstone, are due to head to court this fall to argue whether Shari and her father, Sumner Redstone have too much voting power to force a merger. The Redstones want to join a wave of media hookups but Moonves has stood in the way.