As Les Moonves departs, sexual misconduct allegations raise wider questions about CBS culture

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Meg James:

 Yes, Mr. Moonves had renegotiated his contract more than a year ago. So there were provisions in place for him to be paid a pretty lucrative settlement when he left CBS.

He’s been in charge of the company for more than 12 years. He’s been incredibly successful, one of the most successful executives in all of Hollywood. And the board rewarded him with this very lucrative contract, which allowed a production deal and considerable stock and option and other compensation when he left.

The board is now in a very uncomfortable position. They have a contract with Mr. Moonves every requires them to pay him out. They have not fired him yet. But they want to wait until after this investigation is completed. And then they will decide what portion of that $120 million, if any, will be paid to Mr. Moonves now.

The $20 million that is going to go to groups supporting MeToo and women’s equality in the workplace, that money is going to come right out of whatever they would pay Mr. Moonves. It will likely be negotiated, I suspect, in the coming weeks when the findings are complete, and CBS can really look at the totality of the charges.

So there’s a lot of legal implications that come from this review. And I think CBS, in their filing early this morning or late last night, just made that clear, that they’re going to put $120 million in a trust account, and that will be sealed up until they can figure out how much, if any, Moonves is entitled to.

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