Wednesday, 23 January, 2019

'60 Minutes' executive producer Jeff Fager out at CBS

'60 Minutes' executive producer Jeff Fager out at CBS '60 Minutes' executive producer Jeff Fager out at CBS
Stacy Diaz | 13 September, 2018, 16:08

Embattled former "60 Minutes" head Jeff Fager was sacked for sending a harshly worded text to the CBS News reporter who is covering the sexual harassment scandals that have rocked CBS in recent weeks.

"60 Minutes" will enter its 51st season under the leadership of executive editor Bill Owens while the search for a new executive producer begins.

CBS Corp (CBS.N) Chief Executive Officer Leslie Moonves resigned on Sunday amid a new wave of allegations against him of sexual assault and harassment uncovered in two New Yorker stories in the past two months. Late a year ago, former "CBS This Morning" host Charlie Rose was sacked after more than 2 dozen women accused him of sexual misconduct.

Fager initially denied the allegations against him, which included claims that he touched women inappropriately at parties and shielded men beneath him who were accused of misconduct.

He said Mr Fager had "violated company policy", without elaborating on how. Fager said it was because of a text message he sent to a CBS News reporter who was covering the story about him. "One such note should not result in termination after 36 years", Fager said, "but it did".

At the end of Duncan's report, anchor Jeff Glor said to her, "That message was unacceptable".

"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 replied.

Now the reporter who received the message has revealed its contents. 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".

When Farrow's story came out in July, Fager said Farrow's sources - a "few people", he claimed - had an "axe to grind".

On Sunday, The New Yorker reported that a new accuser said "she "felt compelled to speak because she simply 'can't believe [Fager is] back there.'" The article described her as "a producer who was an intern at CBS" in the early 2000s who said that "he groped her at a work party".

"Jeff Fager is leaving the company effective immediately", Rhodes wrote.

CBS has figured prominently in coverage of sexual harassment in the workplace.

"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 a year ago. "60 Minutes" is one of the most revered programs in television news.