05/07/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

CBS Chief Moonves Bolstered By Profits And Redstone Praise

Leslie Moonves appeared to solidify his position as chief executive of CBS on Tuesday, after Sumner Redstone, chairman, saluted him following a 14 per cent jump in quarterly earnings.

Speculation about Mr Moonves began to emerge in the wake of a sharp fall in CBS earnings last quarter as its television network ceded its long-time ratings lead and a high-profile effort to remake its evening newscast was deemed a failure.

"Let me make one thing clear: there is no one - no one - that I would rather have at the CBS helm than Les," Mr Redstone said.

He also blessed moves by CBS and its sister company, Viacom - which he also controls - to compete head-to-head in the pay television business.

The recent announcement by Viacom that its Paramount film studio would start its own pay-television network and stop supplying CBS's Showtime represented open warfare between the companies a little more than two years after they were formally split. That has reinforced some investors' doubts about the wisdom of that transaction.

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