Some CBS News employees call for transparency and accountability from CBS board

By Graham Kates, Lex Haris, Kaci Sokoloff

/ CBS News

Former CBS CEO Moonves denied $120M severance

The day after the CBS board of directors said its investigation into former CEO Leslie Moonves and workplace culture issues was complete, some CBS News employees and others were calling for the board to be more open about the findings.

On Tuesday morning, Gayle King, co-host of "CBS This Morning," said: "The board says they want transparency and they want to do the right thing. I'm also from the camp of we have to see what's in the report so we know exactly what we're dealing with and how you can change it, and how you can get rid of the people that no longer need to be here who are still involved in whatever this behavior is."

Co-host Norah O'Donnell said a "reckoning" at the company is underway. "You can't provide solutions until you know fully what the problem is, and what exists, and so that secrecy that still exists, the people that have covered up that behavior, that still needs to be clarified," O'Donnell said. "We have been promised that a new day is on the horizon, and we are holding firm to that idea."

The board hired two law firms in August to lead an investigation into workplace conditions at CBS. The CBS board has not said whether it will release the findings. Acting CEO Joe Ianniello, CBS News president David Rhodes and a representative for the board declined to comment.

Gloria Allred, who represents four women who claim to be victims of ousted CEO Leslie Moonves, is also pushing for CBS to release the findings.

"I think that the full report of the investigators hired by the CBS Board should be made public, except that the names of any alleged victims and their allegations, which are included in the report should be redacted, unless CBS obtains the permission of the alleged victims to release their information publicly," Allred said in an emailed statement. "The public has a right to know who at CBS was aware of Mr. Moonves' alleged misconduct and when they knew of it."

Moonves was pushed out on September 9, and the board said Monday he was terminated "for cause" and would not receive a severance payment of $120 million. In a statement Monday, an attorney for Moonves said: "The conclusions of the CBS board were foreordained and are without merit. … Mr. Moonves vehemently denies any non-consensual sexual relations and cooperated extensively and fully with investigators."

Moonves has the right to fight the decision through arbitration, though he hasn't said whether he would. On Tuesday, he told a Financial Times publication, Agenda, that the issue is "far from over." Moonves' employment contract and separation agreement says that CBS would pay his legal fees.

After the release of the board statement on Monday evening, CBS News heard from 19 CBS News employees, several of whom were senior. Six of them said the findings should be released to ensure the integrity of the investigation and accountability.

"Secrecy allowed the problems at CBS to fester for decades. Management's response has been to cloak their investigation in more secrecy," said one employee, who has been with the company seven years. "How do we know problems were actually addressed and people held accountable? Without transparency, this process has zero credibility. They must release the investigators' report."

Another CBS News employee, who has worked at CBS for more than 10 years, asked if months of investigation should be summed up in a short email.

"Personally – if this statement from the board is all we are getting after months of investigations (multiple investigations all brought under one umbrella), I find it disappointing and lacking," the employee said. "I do understand there are legal limitations as to what can be released and revealed, but in light of investigations into Moonves, CBS News, and broader cultural issues at CBS – I had hoped for a more complete accounting of the findings, lessons learned and proposed actions."

Some CBS News employees acknowledged progress. One described the actions by the board as a "step in the right direction" and another expressed "hope we can move on." One employee was "optimistic."

First published on December 19, 2018

© 2018 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Graham Kates

Graham Kates is an investigative reporter covering criminal justice, privacy issues and information security for CBSNews.com.

Paul Ryan to give "farewell address" as he leaves Congress

Outgoing House Speaker Paul Ryan bemoans state of politics in America in his farewell speech today

updated 3M ago

CBS employees call for transparency and accountability from CBS board

After the CBS board of directors said​ its investigation into former CEO Leslie Moonves and workplace culture issues was complete, some CBS employees and others called for the board to be more open about the findings

updated 8M ago

McConnell to introduce short-term spending bill to avoid shutdown

White House counselor Kellyanne Conway said Wednesday the president could sign off on a short-term deal

updated 16M ago

White House orders Pentagon to pull troops from Syria immediately

"We have defeated ISIS in Syria, my only reason for being there during the Trump presidency," President Trump tweeted

updated 10M ago

Schiff plans to call Michael Cohen to testify for Intelligence Committee

The incoming chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Adam Schiff, also tells "CBS This Morning" Facebook and other technology companies need to be regulated

updated 50M ago

Paul Ryan to give "farewell address" as he leaves Congress

Outgoing House Speaker Paul Ryan bemoans state of politics in America in his farewell speech today

updated 3M ago

McConnell to introduce short-term spending bill to avoid shutdown

White House counselor Kellyanne Conway said Wednesday the president could sign off on a short-term deal

updated 16M ago

White House orders Pentagon to pull troops from Syria immediately

"We have defeated ISIS in Syria, my only reason for being there during the Trump presidency," President Trump tweeted

updated 10M ago

Schiff plans to call Michael Cohen to testify for Intelligence Committee

The incoming chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Adam Schiff, also tells "CBS This Morning" Facebook and other technology companies need to be regulated

updated 50M ago

Transcript: Nadia Schadlow talks with Sandy Winnefeld on "Intelligence Matters"

Former Trump deputy national security adviser for strategy talks with former Vice Chairman of Joint Chiefs Sandy Winnefeld on "Intelligence Matters" this week

5H ago

Taliban says U.S. talks focused on prisoner swap, U.S. withdrawal

U.S. peace envoy calls 3-day negotiations "productive," as Taliban says no breakthroughs but key points of potential deal taking shape

1H ago

3 space station crew members heading home

Three space station crew members wrap up a 196-day mission that included patching a leak in their Soyuz spacecraft

2H ago

U.S. envoy on mission to dislodge North Korea nuclear talks

White House special envoy Stephen Biegun says U.S. will "review" tight travel restrictions to help ease flow of humanitarian aid

2H ago

Children are sent to the front lines in Yemen's war

Young soldiers can be seen manning checkpoints, AK-47s dangling from their narrow shoulders

3H ago

Yemen's warring sides blame each other as ceasefire tested again

But the truce still appeared largely intact with U.N. monitors expected to arrive and the details of a major prisoner swap being hashed out

1H ago

CBS employees call for transparency and accountability from CBS board

After the CBS board of directors said​ its investigation into former CEO Leslie Moonves and workplace culture issues was complete, some CBS employees and others called for the board to be more open about the findings

updated 8M ago

Gisele Bündchen in note to younger self: "You are enough"

"Keep following your heart and don't apologize for being you," she writes

1H ago

Penny Marshall, "Laverne & Shirley" star, dead at 75

Actress Penny Marshall, best known for playing Laverne DeFazio on "Laverne & Shirley," has died

10H ago

Stars pay tribute to Penny Marshall

The "Laverne & Shirley" star and successful director died at her Hollywood Hills home from diabetes-related complications

16H ago

First transgender woman competes in Miss Universe pageant

"Today I am here, proudly representing my nation, all women and human rights,” she said

18H ago

3 space station crew members heading home

Three space station crew members wrap up a 196-day mission that included patching a leak in their Soyuz spacecraft

2H ago

Facebook gave tech giants more access to users' data than it said: report

New York Times story could add to the pressure Facebook's been under regarding its protection of the privacy of that data

2H ago

Once tasty Blue Apron is now a penny-stock

Online meal-kit delivery service has seen its value plunge 90 percent since a 2017 IPO

16H ago

#LogOutFacebook fuels protests, canceled accounts

Facebook's data breaches and privacy issues are prompting critics like the NAACP to log off their accounts

17H ago

Huge floating device isn't trapping plastic in Pacific Ocean

The young innovator behind the project said a fix was in the works

17H ago

GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer to create over-the-counter drug giant

The two drugmakers are merging their healthcare divisions, bringing together brands such as Sensodyne and Advil

2H ago

11-year-old girl's brain tumor disappears in medical mystery

"It was unbelievable. The tumor is undetectable on MRI scans, which is very unusual"

15H ago

How food choices may affect your brain's destiny

Dr. David Perlmutter claims eating foods high in carbs causes brain inflammation and can trigger conditions like anxiety, depression and ADHD

21H ago

Drone delivers vaccines for kids on remote island

The drone delivery covered almost 25 miles of rainforests and rugged mountainous terrain

22H ago

How does federal judges' health insurance stack up?

With a federal court ruling that Obamacare is unconstitutional, here's a look at the kind of health coverage judges get

Dec 18

Fed likely to hike rates again, despite Trump's tweets

And the president's complaining about higher interest rates isn't the only problem the central bank faces

2H ago

GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer to create over-the-counter drug giant

The two drugmakers are merging their healthcare divisions, bringing together brands such as Sensodyne and Advil

2H ago

Is Wall Street signaling a U.S. recession ahead?

The stock market's tumble could be an ominous warning or just misguided – here's where to look for the signs

3H ago

Trump tariffs hit middle- and low-income earners most

With the price of some consumer goods rising, here's how much tariffs are costing the average U.S. family

3H ago

Facebook gave tech giants more access to users' data than it said: report

New York Times story could add to the pressure Facebook's been under regarding its protection of the privacy of that data

2H ago

Senate passes bipartisan criminal justice bill

Senate voted Tuesday night to approve a sweeping criminal justice overhaul supported by President Trump

7H ago

Woman in New York fights back, prevents her car from being stolen

Bronx mother Tihisha Jones gets street justice after stopping a suspected car thief in his tracks — and it was all caught on camera

14H ago

Man in alleged GoFundMe scam could face jail on traffic charges

Mark D'Amico, his girlfriend and a homeless veteran allegedly concocted a good Samaritan story to scam donors

Dec 18

Teen caught on video attacking girl wearing hijab in school

Authorities in suburban Pittsburgh say they deem the bathroom incident bullying, not hate crime for now

Dec 18

Two Chicago police officers killed by train

Police said the officers were investigating a call of shots fired when they were hit by the passing train

Dec 18  Original Article