October 5, 2012

Moonves @ SCA

The President and CEO of CBS Visits SCA

If there were a Mount Rushmore of legendary television executives, Les Moonves would certainly be front and center. The President and CEO of CBS is known for putting hit shows like Survivor, CSI and Showtime’s Homeland on the air, but he’s also known for not pulling punches in interviews. On October 3rd, the outspoken executive visited the School of Cinematic Arts as a guest of Student Industry Relations and answered questions in a Q and A hosted by the Larry Auerbach Chair at USC, Larry Auerbach.

The President and CEO of CBS Les Moonves answers questions from students

“We built CBS program by program, night by night,” said Moonves. “We took that entrepreneurial spirit and went to news, to sports and, in the end, brought the company to where it is. We’ve won [in ratings] nine of the last ten years and, I can tell you this, it’s a lot better to win than lose.”

Moonves started his career as an actor until his late twenties. After stints at Lorimar, Warner Bros. Television and 20th Century Fox, Moonves was promoted to CEO of CBS. His position oversees companies as diverse as the CW, Showtime, CBS Sports and CBS interactive.

Moonves fielded questions ranging from the company’s lawsuits against technology firms, the role of television executives in the national discourse and even his role in bringing an end to the NFL replacement refs.

“I have the greatest job in the world,” Moonves continued. “I love what I do. I get an opportunity in entertainment, which I love. Television, which I love. Sports, which I love. I have a magnificent job. It’s all about my team. I’m not saying that just because they are here. We have many divisions and I’m fascinated by all of them. That’s the key.”

The talk was open to the public and was heavily attended by students in SCA’s Business Entertainment Program, which Auerbach leads. The BEC program is a Graduate Certificate in the Business of Entertainment Program offered in conjunction with the Marshall School of Business.

For more information of the BEC certificate, please visit: http://cinema.usc.edu/businessentertainment/index.cfm