CBS hires law firms to conduct investigation into allegations about Moonves and 'cultural issues'

  • CBS board of directors said it had approved the hiring of two law firms to "conduct a full investigation of the allegations in recent press reports about Chairman and CEO Leslie Moonves."
  • Claims of sexual misconduct against Moonves were detailed in a New Yorker article last week.

The CBS board of directors approved the hiring of two law firms to "conduct a full investigation of the allegations in recent press reports about Chairman and CEO Leslie Moonves", with the probe expected to include investigations into "CBS News and cultural issues at all levels of CBS," the company said Wednesday evening.

Claims of sexual misconduct against Moonves were detailed in a New Yorker article last week. The article includes allegations by six women against Moonves that date back to the 1980s.

Here is the full statement from the board:

At its meeting this afternoon, the CBS Board of Directors unanimously approved the retention of Covington & Burling and Debevoise & Plimpton to conduct a full investigation of the allegations in recent press reports about Chairman and CEO Leslie Moonves, CBS News and cultural issues at all levels of CBS. At Covington & Burling the investigation will be led by Nancy Kestenbaum, and at Debevoise & Plimpton it will be led by Mary Jo White.

To help facilitate the investigation, a Special Committee of Board members has been formed comprised of Bruce S. Gordon, Linda Griego and Robert N. Klieger. Mr. Moonves will have no role in the investigation and is entirely recused from it. The Board took no further action at this meeting pending discussion with counsel as to appropriate next steps.

The Board noted that it takes these allegations seriously and is committed to acting in the best interest of the Company and all of its shareholders, and is confident that the employees of CBS will continue to perform at a high level as this process unfolds.

In addition, the Board took action today to appoint Bruce S. Gordon to serve as Lead Independent Director of the Board of Directors.

Neither the Board nor the Company expects to comment further on this matter at this time

This is a breaking news story. Check back for updates.

— CNBC's Sara Salinas contributed to this report.