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Moonves scandal looms over CBS shareholder meeting

With a $120 million severance package on the line, an investigation into sexual-misconduct claims against former CBS CEO Les Moonves will loom over the network's annual shareholders meeting on Tuesday.

But CBS officials are unlikely to say more beyond seeking to reassure shareholders that the board is "on top of that, don't worry, when we have sufficient information we will disclose this," said Porter Bibb, a former media executive now with the advisory firm Mediatech Capital Partners. He said the scandal is likely to be mentioned "only peripherally."

Shareholder meetings are typically limited to normal annual meeting duties, Bibb said. Among other things, shareholders will vote on 11 board members, six of whom came aboard in a reshuffling after the scandal broke.

The bigger task will come behind the scenes in the weeks to come. The newly revamped board has until the end of January to decide whether Moonves receives his payout. It will also have to chart a path for CBS to recover from the scandal.

Moonves was ousted in September after The New Yorker published allegations from 12 women who said he subjected them to mistreatment that included forced oral sex, groping and retaliation if they resisted. The network launched an investigation with two outside law firms that is due to be complete by Jan. 31.

The New York Times said a draft report on that investigation found Moonves committed "multiple acts of serious nonconsensual sexual misconduct." Citing the report, the Times said he deleted numerous text messages and was "evasive and untruthful at times." The investigators issued a statement saying their work was still in progress, and a lawyer for Moonves denied any wrongdoing.

Moonves had been one of the most admired powerbrokers in the entertainment industry. He was hailed for turning around the fortunes of CBS when he took over as entertainment chief in 1995, as he churned out such hits as "Two and a Half Men" and "Survivor." He was also one of the highest-paid executives in the nation, making about $70 million in each of the past two years.

The official agenda for Tuesday's meeting had glowing praise for Moonves' 2017 performance, his last full year as CEO. The board lauded Moonves for positioning CBS "for the digital future," growing its direct-to-consumer streaming business and lessening its dependence on traditional advertising.

It also described a management style that seems awkwardly at odds with the emerging allegations of his attempted interference in the sexual-misconduct investigation. The agenda document lauded Moonves for his successes in "management development and human resources," including developing "diversity and inclusion programs."

Dan Eaton, an expert on severance issues and a professor at San Diego State University, said that given the reported findings of the investigation, there's pressure on the board to deny Moonves his $120 million severance. Any other outcome would likely provoke a backlash, he said. Under the terms of his employment contract, Moonves is entitled to the payout only if the investigation finds he was terminated without cause.

Though Moonves could challenge a denial in arbitration, "does he really want to prolong these steamy allegations in the public mind?" Eaton said. "The longer this drags on, the greater a percentage of his obituary will be devoted to this, and not to his impressive professional accomplishments."

The Moonves scandal aside, the board will have a longer-term challenge determining the company's future. Expected to be at the meeting is Shari Redstone, who controls both CBS and Viacom with his father, Sumner Redstone, through holding firm National Amusements.

Shari Redstone has long advocated for a combination of CBS and Viacom. CBS opposes that because it is financially stronger than Viacom. As part of the agreement that led to Moonves' ouster and the board reshuffling, she agreed not to push for a combination for two years. That doesn't mean a surrogate couldn't take her place, however. So the board will have to decide if this is the best move for CBS.

___

Mae Anderson reported from Atlanta.

Dolly Parton’s younger brother, songwriter Floyd Parton, dead at 61

Dolly Parton’s younger brother and songwriting partner, Floyd Parton, has died at the age of 61.

>> Read more trending news 

He passed away last Thursday, according to an obituary from Atchley Funeral home.

Floyd Parton was described in the obituary as “a man of many talents and areas of knowledge.”

“He was an avid outdoorsman and had an abundant knowledge of nature as well as being an incredible cook,” the funeral home said

“Floyd was a talented songwriter and composer. Two of his most famous songs were ‘Rockin’ Years,’ recorded by Dolly Parton and Ricky Van Shelton and ‘Nickels and Dimes,’ recorded by Dolly Parton and later by George Burns.”

Another sister, Stella Parton, posted a photo on Twitter on the day Floyd Parton died.

“I am spending the day with my beautiful brother, Floyd,” she said.

The family is asking for donations to the My People Senior Activity Center in Sevierville, Tennessee, in lieu of flowers.

The Parton family already held a private funeral service.

Jana Kramer Responds To Body Shamers On Instagram

It’s been a big year for Jana Kramer. After years of trying to have another baby, she finally was blessed with a beautiful and healthy son. She had a c-section a little over a week ago and has been very open on social media with what is going on in her life regarding her son, her pregnancy, her delivery, her job, and so on. She actually even went back to work less than a week after having her son, Jace, but she works as a podcast personality and the whole family made a trip in. She posted a photo to Instagram to celebrate the moment and people started commenting about her weight. Most were saying how motivating she was to others to get into shape after a baby because she looked great... others shamed her for her body and for the fact that she was back at work so quickly. 

Kramer decided to use the social media platform to vent about her frustrations instead of directly respond to those hating on her... 

Man who claimed Howard Hughes inheritance dies in Nevada

Melvin Dummar died never seeing the $156 million that he argued for decades that eccentric billionaire Howard Hughes unexpectedly bequeathed to him for rescuing him on a desert road and driving him nearly three hours to Las Vegas in 1967.

Dummar, whose story was depicted in the 1980 film "Melvin and Howard," died Sunday under hospice care in rural Nevada, said Nye County Sheriff Sharon Wehrly. He was 74.

His brother, Ray Dummar said his brother battled cancer for many years and quit referring to the Hughes estate and the handwritten document after losing his last legal battle 10 years ago.

The so-called "Mormon will" was said to have also named The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as beneficiary of $156 million— a 1/16 share of the Hughes estate — when he died in 1976.

"I've been called everything from a crook to a forger," Dummar told the AP in 2007 in Utah, where he once owned a gas station and later ran a business selling frozen meat, salmon and big pies.

"I don't care what people say — as long as they get the facts straight," he said.

Jurors and judges decided he lied. A U.S. appeals court in 2008 affirmed a Nevada state court jury's decision 30 years earlier that found the will was a fake.

Dummar maintained that he found Hughes in late December 1967, face-down and bloody on a dirt road not far from a brothel near Lida, Nevada, and drove him nearly 190 miles (306 kilometers) to Las Vegas before giving him some pocket change and dropping him off behind the Sands Hotel.

Dummar's story about finding an unshaved Hughes with long stringy hair and baggy clothes was as bizarre as Hughes, an aviation and movie mogul and business tycoon who spent his final years in seclusion, his hair and fingernails grown long.

"On the way to Las Vegas, he told me who he was, but I didn't believe him," Dummar told the AP in 2006. "I thought he was just a bum or a prospector or something."

Dummar said he later came to believe it was Hughes, and that about eight years later a handwritten will was delivered to his gas station in Utah.

Dummar said it was addressed to the president of the Mormon church. He said he steamed it open to read the contents before taking it to the church's headquarters and leaving it on a secretary's desk.

TIME’s Person of the Year 2018 shortlist announced

TIME unveiled its 2018 Person of the Year shortlist Monday, recognizing “the person or group of people who most influenced the news and the world — for better or for worse — during the past year.”

>> Read more trending news 

Last year, TIME honored the “silence breakers,” a group of “all races, all income classes, all occupations and virtually all corners of the globe,” for breaking their silence against sexual harassment. The 2017 magazine cover featured Ashley Judd, Susan Fowler, Adama Iwu, Isabel Pascual and Taylor Swift.

Here are the 10 finalists on the 2018 shortlist:
  • President Donald Trump
  • Separated families at the border
  • Russia’s President Vladimir Putin
  • Special counsel Robert Mueller
  • “Black Panther” director Ryan Coogler
  • Christine Blasey Ford, who testified against Judge Brett Kavanaugh in September
  • Jamal Khashoggi, Washington Post columnist believed to have been murdered by the Saudi regime
  • March For Our Lives activists led by students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida
  • South Korean President Moon Jae-in
  • Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex

TIME’s 2018 Person of the Year will be announced Tuesday at 7 a.m. on NBC’s Today show.

50 Cent’s crew member killed on set of Starz series ‘Power’

A crew member on 50 Cent’s popular Starz series “Power” was struck by an SUV and killed Monday morning in Brooklyn, New York, closing down filming on the show’s sixth season, according to media reports.

>> Read more trending news 

Production assistant Pedro Jimenez, 63, was fatally struck around 4 a.m. by another crew member while placing traffic cones on a street in preparation for the start of filming, according to USA Today.

The driver of the Ford Explorer that hit and killed Jimenez remained at the scene as police began their investigation.

“It’s unknown why the vehicle moved and lost control,” New York police detective Martin Brown told USA Today. There have been “no arrests at this time but this incident is still under investigation.”

“I just learned we lost Pedro Jimenez, a member of the Power production team early this morning. My prayers and condolences are with the entire Jimenez family,” 50 Cent, whose real name is Curtis Jackson, said in a post Monday on Instagram.

A Starz spokesperson also responded to the tragedy Monday in a statement.

>> Related: Star troubles: 50 Cent has $108,000 monthly expenses, including $72,000 for mansion

“We are deeply saddened by the loss of one of the members of our ‘power’ family … Our thoughts are with Mr. Jimenez’s family as we work to fully understand what has happened.

The NYPD’s Highway Collision Investigation Squad is investigating the accident.

Study: Social media surpasses newspapers as news source

A survey says Americans today are more likely to get news from social media web sites than newspapers.

The Pew Research Center said Monday that 20 percent of Americans cited social media as a frequent news source, compared to 16 percent that credited newspapers. It's the first time since Pew has found sites like Facebook and Twitter outpacing newspapers.

Pew has been asking about news consumption, with a slight change in wording, since 1991. That year, 56 percent of Americans said newspapers when asked where they had gotten their news yesterday.

The survey also found that 81 percent of people aged 65 and over often get news from television, compared to only 16 percent of people aged 18 to 29.

Meek Mill, Fat Joe attend DJ Khaled's Miami birthday bash

Meek Mill, Busta Rhymes and Fat Joe were among the rappers who came out to celebrate DJ Khaled's birthday at an over-the-top party at the Perez Art Museum to close out Art Basel in Miami Beach.

The Haute Living party celebrated birthdays for both DJ Khaled and his wife Nicole with a 60-person dinner Sunday night. Swizz Beatz gave a special DJ set, getting guests pumped up when he played "This Is How We Do It." He toasted the birthday couple, saying they "came from nothing and stay working hard."

Cuba Gooding Jr., Larsa Pippen, Jeff Gordon, Trina, Jeezy, Jadakiss and 21 Savage were among the guests dancing, toasting and eating cake as they overlooked views of Biscayne Bay.

DJ Khaled even received a sparkly $106,000 watch as a gift.

Crew member of Starz series 'Power' hit, killed at shoot

A production assistant on the Starz network drama series "Power" has been struck and killed by a vehicle while setting up traffic cones for a film production in Brooklyn.

Police say 63-year-old Pedro Jimenez, of Manhattan, was pronounced dead at a hospital following the accident just before 4:30 a.m. Monday in the Boerum Hill neighborhood.

Police say the 64-year-old driver of the vehicle remained at the scene. There have been no arrests.

A Starz spokeswoman says that the network is "deeply saddened" by the death and that thoughts are with the Jimenez family.

Production on the series has been suspended. It isn't clear when production will resume.

"Power" stars Omari Hardwick as a drug kingpin and nightclub owner.

Rupert Grint is wealthy, but said he has no idea of net worth

There is no need for Ron Weasley to panic now -- at least not financially.

>> Read more trending news 

Rupert Grint, who played the nervous redhead in the “Harry Potter” movie series, admitted in an interview he did not know how much money he has in the bank, the Daily Mail reported.

However, Grint, 30, is worth more than $35 million and said he is content knowing he can live a “comfortable” life without checking his financial statements, the newspaper reported.

Grint made his comments during an interview with the Radio Times,  saying that “I actually don't know how much I have. I couldn't even really guess.”

Grint, one of the three main characters in the “Harry Potter” wizard movies adapted from J.K. Rowling’s books, vaulted to fame with Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson when the 2001 movie, “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” was released.

Having that much money “doesn’t motivate me too much,” Grint told the Radio Times. “'I'm glad it's there but I'm not really that focused on it.”

Radcliffe has an estimated net worth of more than $109 million and Watson has a net worth of more than $71 million, the Daily Mail reported.

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