CBS CEO Leslie Moonves on Ashton Kutcher Contract Talks, Keith Olbermann's Future and the One Note He Gives Wife Julie Chen (Q&A)

5:00 AM PST 04/12/2012 by Lacey Rose
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Joe Pugliese

THR gets an inside look at the L.A. and N.Y.C. executive suites of the president and CEO of CBS Corp., who assesses his network’s performance and reveals future aspirations.

HOW MOONVES MOVED UP

  • 1949: Born in New York, where he is raised with two siblings by a nurse mother and father who owns gas stations.
  • 1971: Graduates fromBucknell University before moving to Manhattan, where he kick-starts his acting career at N.Y.'s Neighborhood Playhouse and tends bar at Tavern on the Green (longtime home to CBS' upfront afterparty).
  • 1977: Moves to Los Angeles, where he appears in TV shows such as The Six Million Dollar Man and Cannon before shifting into a development role at Saul Ilson Productions.
  • 1983: Joins 20th Century Fox, where he produces movies and miniseries, including one based on Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises.
  • 1989: Tapped as president of Lorimar TV, where he oversees series like the long-running NBC drama Sisters.
  • 1993: Becomes president of Warner Bros. TV. A year later, he sells 22 series, including NBC breakouts Friends and ER.
  • 1995: Moonves is named president of entertainment at CBS, in last place at the time. By 1999, the network finishes No. 1 in viewers. The next year, CBS launches Survivor and CSI.
  • 2005: Newly remarried, Moonves is named CEO of CBS Corp. following the CBS/Viacom split. By 2011, CBS finishes the year as the largest-growing media stock for a third straight year.
  • 2012: CBS is poised to round out the season No. 1 in total viewers for the ninth time in 10 years.
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