Leslie Moonves Addresses CBS Promotion During Super Bowl 50 Interview

Leslie Moonves
CNN Money

"I'm very pleased that Sumner Redstone handed the reins to me," said the new chairman, who called the appointment a great "honor" and "privilege."

Leslie Moonves on Thursday addressed his promotion to CBS chairman while discussing the upcoming Super Bowl 50 from San Francisco.

"I've been at CBS 20 years," he told CNNMoney, "and to be given the chairman's title of this corporation, it's a great honor, it's a great privilege."

On Wednesday, CBS Corp. named the president and CEO as the new chairman, with Sumner Redstone becoming chairman emeritus. Redstone, 92, stepped down effective Tuesday, with his daughter, Shari Redstone, continuing to serve as vice chairman.

"I'm very pleased that Sumner Redstone handed the reins to me," continued Moonves. "It's a great organization and I have a great team here and I'm really happy about it."

When asked if his job will change, Moonves said, "Obviously there are more corporate responsibilities involved, but I've been doing some of them already." He added, "It's just adding more, but adding things that I enjoy doing."

When pressed about the reasons behind Redstone's decision to resign, Moonves only said that "it was time" and remained gracious about his appointment. "I'm very happy he had the faith in me," he said.

CBS is airing Super Bowl 50 on Sunday, with the Denver Broncos and the Carolina Panthers set to play at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., and Moonves says the event is a culmination of a year's worth of planning.

"It's unbelievably exciting," said Moonves, adding that meetings for the big game began one day after last year's Super Bowl ended. The game is the most-watched live TV event of any given year and this year, the asking price for a 30-second ad is more costly than ever at $5 million "or more" for certain spots during the game, the exec confirmed in the interview.

"There is nothing like the Super Bowl," he added. "It garners more attention than any single event in America, any single event in the world, so advertisers realize they get a lot of bang for their buck."

As for ratings (last year's game pulled in a whopping 114.4 million viewers for NBC), Moonves said simply, "We expect to do really well."

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