CBS Corp. CEO Leslie Moonves received a standing ovation when he took the stage at Carnegie Hall on Wednesday afternoon during the eye network's upfronts pitch to advertisers. It was a first, in at least recent memory, for a network exec to receive such a roaring round of applause.
Moonves' reception represented a show of support by the ad community amid a surprising and intense legal battle now unfolding between CBS and its controlling stakeholder, the Redstone family's National Amusements. CBS filed a lawsuit earlier this week to stop Shari Redstone from interfering in a planned meeting that could dilute National Amusements' voting interest in CBS. Redstone has been vocal in her desire for CBS to merge with Viacom, but CBS leadership has not been happy with the proposed details and seems curious about other options.
Moments before Moonves took the stage, a Delaware Chancery Court judge essentially issued a time-out on the battle and granted the restraining order CBS requested.