Last updated: November 30, 2012 - 9:38am
CBS chief executive Les Moonves has led a turnaround of the network from dead last in the ratings to No. 1. The makeover, which gained steam between 1995 and 2002, has made him the reigning king of network television just as that realm is shrinking, laid siege to by a multiplying array of technologies.
The other networks, including NBC, ABC and Fox, are also under attack from on-demand viewing, digital recorders and streaming online video. Still, no one has more to lose than the king. Television viewership is declining across the board. Although CBS remains the most-watched network in prime time, its average overall audience of 11.5 million in that time period is down 10% in the fall season so far, compared with the same time the year before, according to Nielsen. Its audience among 18-to-49-year-olds, the demographic most prized by advertisers, has tumbled 20%.
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