'60 Minutes' Exec Jeff Fager to Leave Amid Harassment Claim
'60 Minutes' Exec Jeff Fager to Leave Amid Harassment Claim
Les Moonves and Julie Chen WireImage
13 September, 2018, 16:03
CBS News is under intense scrutiny this week following the ousting of both CEO Les Moonves and 60 Minutes executive producer Jeff Fager, and there's new reporting from The New YorkTimes tonight on the circumstances of how both ended up being booted.
"Jeff Fager is leaving the company effective immediately", CBSNews president David Rhodes said in a memo to staffers on Wednesday.
Duncan showed a text message, apparently from Fager, which read, "If you repeat these false accusations without any of your own reporting to back them up you will be held responsible for harming me". Its chief executive officer, Leslie Moonves, was forced out last weekend after the New Yorker reported that more women had come forward alleging they were assaulted by the executive.
Fager, who has denied the claims of harassment, released a statement confirming he was sacked because "I sent a text message to one of our CBS reporters" over her coverage of newer allegations against him that The New Yorker published Sunday. There are people who lost their jobs trying to harm me, and if you pass on these damaging claims without your own reporting to back them up, that will become a serious problem'.
Earlier Wednesday, Fager issued a statement defending his actions and denying the accounts in Farrow's report. "One such note should not result in termination after 36 years, but it did".
Duncan revealed the contents of the text message on the "CBS Evening News" on Wednesday, "since Jeff Fager publicly referred to our exchange today". 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".
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"It's unfortunate", Kroft said, "and everything about this situation saddens me".
Moonves and Fager were the subjects of a recent investigation by Ronan Farrow of The New Yorker.
In a new story on Sunday, Farrow cited a former intern who said that Fager once groped her at an office function and described the culture as "sexist" and a "boy's club".
A representative for Fager said he had no further comment on Wednesday night.
"60 Minutes" is the most popular and powerful network news broadcast on television, and Fager is only the second person to lead it during its 50 years of history. "His magic is in the screening room, as was Don Hewitt's", says a "60 Minutes" staffer who declined to be named. 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".
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