Published: Thu, September 13, 2018

Jeff Fager Out as '60 Minutes' Executive Producer Following Harassment Claims

Jeff Fager Out as '60 Minutes' Executive Producer Following Harassment Claims

Jeff Fager sent a text message to CBS reporter Jericka Duncan, warning her about the coverage of the sexual misconduct allegations against him, just three days before he was terminated.

CBS News president David Rhodes said Wednesday that Fager was sacked for violating company policy. 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.

Across various news outlets, including New Yorker and Washington Post, more than a dozen current and former employees had claimed Fager, division chair from 2011-2015 and 60 Minutes EP for the past 14 seasons, condoned harassment in the division.

Mr Fager himself denies harassment, and told reporters he had been fired over a "harsh" text he sent to a colleague.

Fager previously served as chairman of CBS News and had been executive producer of "60 Minutes" since 2003.

He said Mr Fager had "violated company policy", without elaborating on how.

"Jeff Fager is leaving the company effective immediately", CBS News President David Rhodes wrote in a note to employees, which was obtained by TVNewser.

"This action today is not".

'The company's decision had nothing to do with the false allegations printed in The New Yorker, ' said Fager. A CBS News reporter working on a story about Fager revealed that he had sent her a text message urging her to "be careful". The latest allegation against Fager comes from Sarah Johansen, a former CBS intern, who told Farrow that the "60 Minutes" executive producer groped her at a work party. He acknowledged that his language in the text was "harsh", but said that "although journalists received harsh demands for fairness all the time, CBS didn't like it".

He said he didn't think one note would have resulted in a dismissal after 36 years at the network, "but it did".

She told Farrow the famed news magazine has a "boy's club" culture and female staffers referred to avoiding the "Fager arm" at work functions.

It was shortly after outlets began to pick up the news of Fager's exit that he released a statement of his own, in light of CBS News' refusing to comment on his specific violation.

In August, the CBS board of directors hired outside lawyers to investigate the claims against Moonves, as well as "cultural issues at all levels of CBS".

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