NEW YORK — CBS said Friday it is investigating personal misconduct claims after the company’s chief executive, Les Moonves, was the subject of a New Yorker story detailing sexual misconduct allegations.

The media company said independent directors are “investigating claims that violate the company’s clear policies in that regard.”

CBS Corp.’s stock fell 6 percent – its worst one-day loss in nearly seven years – as the reports of the misconduct allegations began to circulate around noon Friday, triggering investor concerns Moonves might be forced to step down. The CBS chief has been a towering figure in television for decades, credited with turning around a network that had been mired for years at the bottom ratings.

Les Moonves

The company did not mention Moonves by name but said it issued the statement in response to the New Yorker article, which was written by Ronan Farrow, who wrote a Pulitzer Prize-winning story for the same magazine uncovering many of the allegations against Harvey Weinstein

The article says six women who had professional dealings with Moonves say he sexually harassed them between the 1980s and late 2000s. Four of the women described forcible touching or kissing during meetings, it says, while two said that Moonves physically intimidated them or threatened to derail their careers.

Moonves acknowledged in a statement that there were times decades ago when he may have made some women uncomfortable. But he says, “Those were mistakes, and I regret them immensely.”

The allegations come as CBS is in the middle of a legal battle with its controlling shareholder, National Amusements, which has been pushing for a merger with Viacom. Moonves has been opposed to the deal.

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