Moonves: I Didn't Know In Advance About Freston Firing
September 13, 2006 at 5:42 AM (PT)
Speaking at a BEVERLY HILLS luncheon for the HOLLYWOOD RADIO AND TELEVISION SOCIETY on TUESDAY, CBS CORP. Pres./CEO LES MOONVES dodged interviewer CHARLIE ROSE's questions about the firing of sister VIACOM Pres./CEO TOM FRESTON, saying that he didn't "want to talk a lot about VIACOM because I'll only get myself in trouble... I don't want to get myself in trouble with anybody." MOONVES said that he had no prior knowledge of the firing, getting a call at the U.S. OPEN tennis tournament from VIACOM and CBS Chairman SUMNER REDSTONE on the day FRESTON was fired.
MOONVES did admit to having hoped to get to run PARAMOUNT PICTURES, which ended up in the VIACOM division under FRESTON, but adding that "SUMNER made a different decision. Life goes on." As in his talk with investors earlier on TUESDAY at the MERRILL LYNCH conference, MOONVES primarily concentrated on TV issues with ROSE, including his view on the addition of KATIE COURIC for the CBS EVENING NEWS ("now we're competitive") and the value of network TV content as new technology continues to grow. The interview will air on ROSE's PBS show later this week.