The reason CBS will stick with the ratings-challenged Tony Awards comes down to two words: Leslie Moonves.
The New York Post reports that the head man at CBS is a big backer of the ceremony, quoting Moonves saying several years ago: “As long as I’m here, the Tonys will be here, too.”
The Post adds: “Moonves has been true to his word. The ratings have been up and down over the years, but Moonves and CBS have never wavered in their support of the Tonys telecast.”
In the runup to this year’s ceremony, Moonves told the publication: “CBS and Broadway have been tied together for years. I think of the Tony Awards as part of our heritage. The show is a money loser for CBS, but there are certain things that are more important than making money. I know this sounds corny, but part of being a broadcaster is public trust. And I believe it is important for us to show America what is happening on Broadway.”
This year’s ceremony, with “Hamilton” up for a record 16 Tonys, should be among the most high-profile Tony Awards in years. CBS airs “The 70th Annual Tony Awards” this Sunday, June 12, with James Corden hosting.