CBS reporter reveals the text that allegedly got Jeff Fager fired

Story alleges a darker side of'60 Minutes

Jeff Fager, the veteran executive producer of "60 Minutes", was sacked on Wednesday amid accusations of inappropriate conduct at the acclaimed newsmagazine.

Bill Owens, executive editor at "60 Minutes", will step in to manage the "60 Minutes" team while a search for a replacement is conducted.

Fager's departure comes just days after CBS CEO Leslie Moonves was ousted from the company amid at least a dozen accusations of sexual misconduct, also reported in The New Yorker.

CBS News chairman and "60 Minutes" executive producer Jeff Fager speaks at the discussion panel during the 2012 Summer Television Critics Association tour on July 29, 2012 in Los Angeles.

On "CBS Evening News With Jeff Glor" Wednesday night, Jericka Duncan said that she had contacted Fager Sunday night after a New Yorker story revealed that a seventh former network employee had accused him of touching her inappropriately.

Earlier Wednesday, CBS News president David Rhodes announced in a memo to staffers that Fager would be "leaving the company effective immediately," adding that the decision was "not directly related" to sexual misconduct allegations against him published by Ronan Farrow in The New Yorker.

Rhodes said Fager violated company policy but did not specify the policy.

"Instead, they terminated my contract early because I sent a text message to one of our CBS reporters demanding that she be fair in covering the story", Fager said. "I really felt like this was one of the most sexist places I've ever worked".

"If you repeat these false accusations without any of your own reporting to back them up you will be held responsible for harming me", Fager allegedly wrote in the text, according to Duncan. Rhodes was then brought in as news president, taking over full management of the news division when Fager went back to exclusively running "60 Minutes".

But Fager has said that women have made significant advances at the broadcast, to the point where a majority its producers and associate producers are now women.

In August, the CBS board of directors hired two outside law firms to investigate the initial claims against Moonves, as well as other reports of sexual harassment and "cultural issues at all levels of CBS". A second Farrow article last week alleged that Fager had groped an employee at a company event.

"Despite Charlie's important journalistic contribution to our news division, there is absolutely nothing more important, in this or any organization, than ensuring a safe, professional workplace - a supportive environment where people feel they can do their best work", Rhodes said in a memo past year.

Related:

Comments


Other news