Moonves Under Attack At CBS?
April 22, 2008 at 5:46 AM (PT)
THE NEW YORK POST is reporting that as if CBS chief LES MOONVES didn't have enough to worry about getting his businesses humming again, he now has to contend with VIACOM CEO PHILIPPE DAUMAN conspiring to remove him.
On SUNDAY, DAUMAN killed PARAMOUNT PICTURES' deal with CBS' pay-TV channel SHOWTIME in order to start a rival cable network with METRO-GOLDWYN-MAYER and LIONSGATE. According to multiple sources close to or inside VIACOM and CBS, DAUMAN's decision was fueled by MOONVES' refusal to sweeten a lowball offer on a renewal pact to run PARAMOUNT-produced films on SHOWTIME.
Dauman's dream is to get rid of Moonves and put Viacom and CBS back together again
"There's a lot of tension between those two, and this is PHILIPPE putting the screws to LES at the worst possible time," said one source.
Indeed, people familiar with the matter said SUMNER REDSTONE, who serves as chairman of both VIACOM and CBS, has privately expressed frustration to DAUMAN at CBS' sagging stock price, the continuing negative press related to CBS RADIO, a dearth of recent primetime TV hits, and, of course, the fate of evening news host KATIE COURIC.
"DAUMAN's dream is to get rid of MOONVES and put VIACOM and CBS back together again," said one source who has worked with both execs.
Another source with close ties to DAUMAN said, "LES is very afraid that PHILIPPE will end up being his boss someday soon."