CBS sets Moonves payoff at $120 mln

Les Moonves will get a payout of $120 million after quitting as the head of US TV network CBS.
Les Moonves will get a payout of $120 million after quitting as the head of US TV network CBS.

CBS Corp said on Monday that it would pay $US120 million to former chief executive officer Leslie Moonves if an internal investigation into allegations of harassment fails to provide grounds for his dismissal.

Moonves had been expected to reap an estimated $US100 million in severance after resigning on Sunday amid a new wave of allegations against him of sexual assault and harassment.

CBS said in a regulatory filing that it and Moonves in addition would donate $US20 million to organisations supporting the #MeToo movement.

Moonves acknowledged three of the newly described encounters, but said they were consensual, in a statement to the New Yorker.

Later on Sunday, announcing his resignation, he said: "Untrue allegations from decades ago are now being made against me that are not consistent with who I am."

CBS said that the settlement of $120 million would be put in a trust within 30 days and that Moonves could end up with nothing if the result of the investigation went against him.

The board will decide on the course of action before January 31 and its determination will be subject to binding arbitration.

Chief Operating Officer Joe Ianniello will take over as interim CEO as the board searches for a replacement of Moonves.

Moonves' wife, Julie Chen, who serves as host and moderator of The Talk and hosts reality show Big Brother on the CBS network, said in a statement on Monday that she was taking a few days off to be with her family.

Australian Associated Press