CBS employees who are demanding to see a full report of the investigation into sexual misconduct allegations against Les Moonves are going to be sorely disappointed.
The four-month-long investigation into Moonves’ behavior — and into claims of a sexist culture at the network in general — by law firms Debevoise & Plimpton and Covington & Burling did not yield a final written report, according to a source with direct knowledge of the situation.
On Dec. 17, the board was given a verbal report and then it denied Moonves a $120 million severance, concluding that “harassment and retaliation are not pervasive at CBS,” according to a memo from the board.
The only document produced by the firms was a 59-page summary report, a source said. The summary was leaked to the New York Times earlier this month.
The CBS staff assumption was that a finalized report based on countless interviews was being prepared for review for the CBS board, and then possibly made public.
CBS declined to comment.
“No report was made so that CBS could protect itself,” said a source. “If the report exists, people can try and discover it [during litigation].”
The Post reported earlier this month that Moonves was threatening to sue CBS over leaks of the investigation’s summary report, claiming it violated the confidentiality terms of his exit agreement when the internal investigation became public.
According to Dan Eaton, a partner at law firm Seltzer Caplan McMahon Vitek who focuses on severance issues, CBS did not want a full report, just a summary.
“It certainly is not usual,” Eaton said. “It would be fair to say that more often than not an investigative report is produced.”
But that memo wasn’t enough for CBS employees and on-air talent, who are demanding to see the report, which they still believe exists.
On “CBS This Morning” Dec. 18, a visibly perturbed Gayle King said: “The board says they want transparency and that they want to do the right thing … 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.”
King is rumored to be threatening to leave CBS amid upheaval at the network and the recent exit of her show’s executive producer Ryan Kadro.