In Depth

Moonves Sees End to Strike in ‘Next Few Months’

CBS Inc. President-CEO Leslie Moonves is “guardedly optimistic” that the writers strike will be over “in the next few months.”

He said there are “some steps being taken to push that ahead,” but didn’t give any details about what those steps might be. The Writers Guild of America went on strike in early November, and has had no negotiations with the AMPTP, which represents networks and studios, since early December.

However, Mr. Moonves said Thursday at Citigroup’s 18th annual Global Entertainment, Media & Telecommunications Conference in Phoenix, Ariz., that CBS is “fine” through the end of this season.

Mr. Moonves cited such factors as the generally high repeatability of the network’s prime-time schedule, strong ratings performances from such network staples as NFL games and “60 Minutes” recently, a strong scatter market and the fact that even as the ratings that drive revenues decline somewhat as the strike wears on, programming costs will be down more. He declared: “We consider this television season just fine.”

That being said, Mr. Moonves echoed News Corp. President-Chief Operating Officer Peter Chernin, who addressed the group Wednesday, by describing himself as personally and professionally distressed by the strike but reluctant to make a bad deal just to end it.

On another subject, while there are an increasing number of financial institutions and experts talking about a recession in 2008, Mr. Moonves said, “We have not seen anything” that points to a recession in any of CBS’ businesses, which he said all are showing growth.

“All of our businesses are sound fundamentally,” he said.

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Comments 27

Lord William

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Maybe the writers wouldn't be on strike if the highly over-paid executives and CEO's (like Moonves @ $57 million/year*) weren't so damn greedy in the first place. IMO, they're the one to blame for this mess. Those unscrupulous bastards should be stripped naked and forced to live on the streets! Maybe then they'd think twice about cheating the ordinary workers.

*Bloomberg.com

smc

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Months? Yeah, because the writers will be losing their homes and starving in the streets by then, while Moonves will be vacationing on his yacht.

Back to Reality

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I think the Writer's need to come back to realilty.

They are losing more than they are fighting for. Not to mentioned that they will only get as much as the Director's Guild new contract gets.

So, of course the Networks are going to wait till the need to bargain with the Directors.

The REAL people getting hurt are the "Everyday" guy on the set.

The Writer's are going to realize that WHEN they do return; They will not have won much, (if anything), and have alientated themselves from the rest of the cast and crew.

Come on guys... Time to get back to reality... Suck it up and be a team player.

Robert

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Moonves gets $57 million per year?!?!? No one on the planet is worth that!!! Perhaps its time for workers everywhere to revolt against this obscene waste of money. Lets all boycott TV 24/7 until this matter is resolved equitably.

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Not one person in this comment thread will post unanonymously?

What's up with that?

And especially this "Back to Reality" guy. First off, I suspect he is Mike Darnell with that nickname.

Get some stones and leave a comment with some contact info if you think your comments are so cogent that we all need to read them.

And Les can say CBS Corp is fine, he can say that they spend their days at Black Rock swimming in gold coins, but I know what the ratings for the People's Choice Awards were and I know that he has no episodes of his Monday comedies, so as Aretha Franklin once said, "Who's Zoomin' Who?"

Phil K

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The next few months, he says? The industry could be practically dead by that time! They need to get back to the table NOW!

One of the unemployed

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If the networks REALLY and SERIOUSLY want to help the entertainment industry, they should make salary and perk cuts. They should have workshops on keeping the suits "grounded" and not greedy. Has anybody heard of "salary caps". The suits should ask themselves this question:
Bottom line how much do they REALLY NEED to survive without excess ?

Good luck to all of us "non suits".

fed

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Bad Robot and ABC need to strike a deal so we CAN HAVE A FULL SEASON OF LOST!!!!!!!!

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Leslie Moonves will get his "kick in the pants" and he will be the kicker. His ego is too big to understand that, but as sure as the Sun sets each day, so shall he. As a CBS stockholder, I shall be glad to see to that.

AMPTP, again I say, "Share the Wealth".

The short sited Mr's Moonves and Chernin are among a cadre of over payed, self-centered egotists who belong out of any seat of control.

They're so stupid they don't get it that without creative writers, these hacks, (and their like), have nothing to sell, (or re-sell).

Lord William

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Statistics show that America is becoming a nation of "have's" and "have not's" (lcurve.org) If this trend continues the middle class will cease to exist within this century. Subsequently we,or our descendants, will be effected severely. IMO, it's time we all stand up to corporate America's oppressive methods and demand fairer treatment for everyone. Remember Howard Beale's cry in NETWORK? "I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take it anymore!"

Richard

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More CEO's should follow Jim Senegal's brilliant corporate philosophy, "to put its customers first, then its employees, then its vendors, and finally its shareholders." Futhermore, Senegal takes home $350,000 per year. (dollarsandsense.org)

IMO, Moonves, Iger, Zuker, Wright, etc. are nothing but greedy, soulless individuals. I'll bet they don't even have a reflection when they look in a mirror.

Richard

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BTW, Jim Senegal is the CEO of Costco.

Joel Davis

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If Mr. Moonves is so optimistic, then why is he and the other execs going to Arizona for a spa vacation? It's up to us, the members of WGAw, to leave messages at the front desk, toll free, and let them know just how we feel about them lounging around in the sun.

DT

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Back to Reality: Go back to your AMPTP toilet, look down and what you see is what you are. Everyone knows that what writers are bargaining for stretches far beyond what you said we've already lost. If it didn't matter you all wouldn't be fighting so hard.

GET A CONSCIENCE...

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