Les Moonves

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Leslie (Les) Moonves is President and CEO of CBS Television, part of the Viacom Group, since 1998.

Mr. Moonves is a director,and since June 2004 joint president and chief operating officer, of Viacom, which purchased CBS in 1999. Prior to this he was President of CBS Entertainment from 1995 and President of Warner Bros. Television from 1993. As well as other senior broadcasting appointments, Les Moonves has been an actor.

Among the many shows which have given CBS a new lease of life, Moonves can claim particular credit for the CSI series – he developed the original while at Warner Bros.

He was the only US broadcast network executive who could claim an increase in viewers in 2003, up 1%.

From early 2004, Les Moonves has made regular contributions to the Late Show with David Letterman. One of these was provoked by David Letterman himself when he declared outrage that Jay Leno was featured prominently on the CBS website in an ad for CBS's telecast of the People's Choice Awards(?). Mr. Letterman warned the "CBS stooge in the control room" to call his buddies "before things turn ugly," Mr. Moonves obliged. Later appearances have taken the same format, with Letterman discussing current events and the CBS network with the company's CEO.

Like Mr. Letterman's former employers at NBC (and parent company General Electric) and Westinghouse, Mr. Moonves and Viacom have become a target for the occasional late night rant.

On December 23, 2004 he married Julie Chen, who presents CBS' The Early Show and Big Brother.

In February 2005, Moonves was identified as the executive directly responsible for ordering the cancellation of UPN's Star Trek: Enterprise and the ending of the 18-year Star Trek television franchise.[1] (http://www.trektoday.com/news/020205_04.shtml). Also, he is considered to be the man responsible for the cancellation of Joan of Arcadia.

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