Physical Address

304 North Cardinal St.
Dorchester Center, MA 02124

Les Moonves Net Worth

Les Moonves Net Worth

Les Moonves Net Worth and Career Overview

Les Moonves: A Comprehensive Look at His Career and Net Worth

Leslie Roy Moonves, a prominent figure in the American media landscape, has had a career that many aspiring media executives dream of. Born on October 6, 1949, in New York City, Moonves climbed the ranks to become the chairman and CEO of CBS Corporation, a position he held from 2003 until his resignation in 2018 amid serious allegations. His career spans over several decades during which he significantly influenced television programming and media operations.

Early Life and Education

Les Moonves was born into a Jewish family in Brooklyn, New York. He grew up in Valley Stream, New York, where he attended Valley Stream Central High School. His academic journey led him to Bucknell University, where he initially started as a pre-med student before switching his major to Spanish. His passion for acting blossomed during his college years, leading him to pursue an acting career in Manhattan after graduation. He studied at the Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre but eventually transitioned from acting to a more executive role in the media industry.

Rise Through the Media Ranks

Moonves began his media career with roles at 20th Century Fox Television and later moved to Lorimar Television in 1985. By 1993, he was the president and CEO of Warner Bros. Television, where he was responsible for green-lighting successful TV shows such as “Friends” and “ER.” His executive prowess caught the attention of CBS, where he started as President of Entertainment in 1995.

During his tenure at CBS, Moonves was instrumental in reviving the network’s ratings with hit shows like “CSI” and “Survivor.” His leadership saw CBS dominate primetime television, holding several top spots in viewership ratings. His strategic decisions, including the cancellation of “Star Trek: Enterprise,” were pivotal in shaping the network’s direction.

Controversies and Resignation

Moonves’ career, however, was not without controversy. In 2018, he stepped down from CBS after allegations of sexual misconduct surfaced, marking a significant fall from grace. The allegations led to a severance dispute, with CBS withholding a $120 million package pending investigations. Moonves has denied all allegations of sexual misconduct.

Net Worth and Earnings

Despite the controversies, Les Moonves has accumulated substantial wealth over his career. Reports suggest that his net worth once soared above $800 million, bolstered by his high earnings as a top executive at CBS, where he made $68.4 million in 2017 alone. His compensation included not just his salary but also stock options and other incentives, which contributed to his vast fortune.

Personal Life and Philanthropy

Moonves has been married twice, first to Nancy Wiesenfeld, with whom he has three children, and later to TV host Julie Chen, with whom he has one child. Beyond his corporate achievements and personal endeavors, Moonves and his wife have engaged in philanthropy, notably contributing to the University of Southern California, which named a media center in their honor.

Legacy and Impact on Media

Les Moonves’ impact on the media industry is undeniable. He was a key player in the television landscape, significantly influencing what audiences watch and how television networks operate. His career, marked by both remarkable achievements and serious allegations, offers a complex legacy that continues to evoke mixed reactions in the media world.


  • What is Les Moonves’ net worth?
    Les Moonves’ net worth has been reported to be over $800 million, accumulated largely through his executive roles in media companies.
  • Why did Les Moonves resign from CBS?
    Moonves resigned from CBS in 2018 following multiple allegations of sexual misconduct.
  • What were some of Les Moonves’ major career achievements?
    Under his leadership, CBS saw a resurgence in ratings with shows like “CSI” and “Survivor.” He also played a crucial role in the creation of The CW Television Network.
  • Did Les Moonves receive his severance package?
    No, CBS withheld a $120 million severance package pending investigations into allegations of misconduct.
  • What philanthropic efforts has Les Moonves been involved in?
    Moonves has made significant donations to educational institutions, including the University of Southern California.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *