Moonves served as co-president and co-chief operating officer of Viacom, Inc., the predecessor to CBS Corporation, from 2004 until the company split on December 31, 2005. Prior to that he had been in a series of executive positions for CBS since July 1995. Moonves has also been a Director at ZeniMax Media since 1999.
He joined CBS in July 1995 as president of CBS Entertainment. From April 1998 until 2003, he was President and Chief Executive Officer at CBS Television, then was promoted to Chairman and CEO of CBS in 2003. He oversees all operations of the company, including the CBS Television Network, The CW (a joint venture between CBS Corporation and Warner Bros. Entertainment), CBS Television Stations, CBS Television Studios, CBS Television Distribution, Showtime, CBS Radio, CBS Records, CBS Outdoor, Simon & Schuster, CBS Interactive, CBS Consumer Products, CBS Home Entertainment, CBS Outernet and CBS Films. During this time (2003), CBS became America’s most watched television network, going from last to first.
Among the shows that have given CBS a new lease on life is the CSI franchise and Survivor. CBS had six of the ten most-watched primetime shows in the final quarter of 2005: CSI, Without a Trace, CSI: Miami, Survivor: Guatemala, NCIS, and Cold Case.
In February 2005, Moonves was identified as the executive directly responsible for ordering the cancellation of UPN‘s Star Trek: Enterprise and the ending of the 18-year Star Trek television franchise.
On February 28, 2006, Moonves led CBS to file a $500 million lawsuit against Howard Stern for allegedly breaching his contract by failing to disclose the details of his deal with Sirius Satellite Radio while still employed by Infinity Broadcasting. Stern vowed to fight the suit, and claimed on his radio program that Moonves and CBS were trying to “bully” him and his agent, Don Buchwald. Stern later appeared on CBS’ own Late Show with David Letterman, wearing a shirt mocking Leslie and his wife. On June 7, 2006, Stern announced that the lawsuit had been settled. As part of the settlement, Sirius acquired the exclusive rights to all of the WXRK tapes (over two decades worth of shows) for $2 million.
He is considered as the second most highly paid director for 2012, he gets $58.8 million.
He is considered as the second most highly paid Executive for 2013, he gets $65.4 million.
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