CBS CEO Les Moonves. Photo: Greg Doherty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images
CBS was all chuckles yesterday at its annual Upfront advertising presentation, even though the company's future was being decided in a courtroom 200 miles to the south.
Why it matters: The big takeaway from the night was that Madison Ave. loves CBS CEO Les Moonves and CBS execs seem confident in their future.
“So, how’s your week been?“— Moonves joked at the top of the presentation
“CBS has some of the most exciting legal dramas and some great TV shows.”— Stephen Colbert
But the bubble could be burst as early as today, as Delaware Chancery Court is being asked to rule on a lawsuit brought by CBS to strip company control from Shari Redstone (and, thus, prevent a merger with Viacom).
- The court did grant CBS an emergency restraining order against Redstone after she tried to change company bylaws shortly before the hearing began. It's a small win from a legal perspective, but CBS execs were crowing about it during their afterparty at the Plaza hotel.
- Remember that these sorts of legal disputes are almost unheard of in dual-class stock structures, but arose here because Sumner Redstone included a "nuclear option" in the CBS charter 12 years ago. It's unclear exactly why, but the bottom line it's certainly causing major headaches for his daughter.