CBS is investigating claims of sexual misconduct by CEO Les Moonves following a story in the New Yorker by Ronan Farrow. While the story deals with CBS as a whole, Moonves is singled out as someone who is said to have been accused of sexual misconduct. CBS said in a statement that it is “committed to investigating claims that violate the Company’s clear policies.” The story hits as the legal fight between Moonves and CBS vice chair Shari Redstone intensifies. Redstone wants to merge CBS with Viacom, both of which she controls through voting shares in National Amusements, a Redstone-family owned trust. Moonves wants CBS to maintain its independence from Viacom. Before today's stock plunge, Moonves had piloted the company to a 1,200 percent increase in its share price over the past nine years, according to the Hollywood Reporter, and he recently told Wall Street to expect record financial results this year.
Viacom has acquired youth-oriented digital media company AwesomenessTV, currently a joint venture of NBCUniversal's DreamWorks Animation, Hearst and Verizon. CNBC reports that Viacom will be paying around $300 million for the company—a steep discount from its 2016 valuation of $650 million. Viacom says that Awesomeness CEO Jordan Levin will depart after a transition period and that the company will integrate with Viacom Digital Studios. Viacom CEO Bob Bakish has been building out its digital footprint, picking up VidCon, an online video conference popular with teens, earlier this year.
A+E Networks Group has named Paul Buccieri president. Buccieri, who was previously president of A+E Studios and A+E Networks, succeeds Nancy Dubuc, who left the company to become CEO of Vice Media in March. Before coming to A+E Networks, Buccieri was chairman of ITV Studios U.S. Group and ITV Studios Global Entertainment. He also previously served as president of programming, production and development at Fox Twentieth Television. In his new position, Buccieri will oversee all of the A+E Networks’ operations, including A&E, Lifetime, History, LMN, FYI and VICELAND, as well as A+E Studios and other properties.
New York Daily News, which slashed its staff by 50 percent earlier this week, is now hiking the newsstand price of the paper—also by 50 percent. Beginning August 6, the cover price will rise from $1 to $1.50. According to the New York Post, the price of the Daily News Sunday edition will jump from $1.50 to $2. But the extra 50 cents might not be all that successful of a moneymaker: The Alliance for Audited Media reported that the paper’s daily circulation for the first quarter of the year was just 164,472. The cuts at the paper once called “New York’s Picture Newspaper” included the elimination of all staff photographers.