Post-The New Yorker allegations about sexual misconduct by CBS CEO Leslie Moonves, brands are in play.
It's irrelevant what CBS internal investigation turns up and who internally has Moonves' back. He doesn't have to be forced out to get it that he has to bail out. That's how branding operates.
The brands affected include:
- His own. The allegations might have stripped him of his credibility. As everyone in public relations know, the accuracy of accusations has little to do with branding. Perception is everything. That's why old-line actor who was cleared of criminal charges - Fatty Arbuckle - never recovered his career.
- The branding of old-line network CBS. Competitors in network, cable, and more see an opening to snatch eyeballs.
- The branding of high-ratings programming such as "60 Minutes." Viewers might shut it off as nothing but a frat house.
- The branding of network television in general. In the article, Ronan Farrow noted how "old" everything is about CBS. That extends to the other networks. It was AMC which brought us "Breaking Bad" and HBO which gave us "The Sopranos."
- The branding (and maybe the jobs) of those defending Moonves. At Fox, Greta Van Susteren stood up for Roger Ailes. Essentially the career is over.
CBS would be smart to parachute in top-line public relations agencies. One would produce media placements. Another reputation restoration. A third would have extreme expertise in managing the court of opinion when a corporation is heading into the court of law. About the latter, investors are bound to sue if the stock price doesn't recover. That's one major driver of shareholder class action lawsuits.
Contact Jane Genova email@example.com.