Thursday Sep 13, 2018
The executive producer of the CBS television program 60 Minutes, Jeff Fager, is leaving CBS News, according to a company memo on Wednesday, amid reports of inappropriate behaviour.
The two-paragraph internal memo from CBS News president David Rhodes, which was seen by Reuters, said that Fager’s departure “is not directly related to the allegations surfaced in press reports, which continue to be investigated independently”.
CBS Corp 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.
In the New Yorker report, Fager is accused of inappropriate touching and of tolerating an abusive culture.
CBS said on Monday that it would pay $120 million to former Chief Executive Officer Leslie Moonves if an internal investigation into allegations of harassment fails to provide grounds for his dismissal.
Rhodes said Fager violated company policy but did not specify the policy.
In a statement to CBS News, Fager said his contract was terminated “for a harsh text I sent to a CBS employee.”
Fager did not respond to a request for comment on Wednesday.
Last year, in November, CBS and other networks had suspended Charlie Rose — one of the most prominent American interviewers — after eight women told the Washington Post that he had sexually harassed them and prompted Rose to apologise for his “inappropriate behavior”.
“These allegations are extremely disturbing and we take them very seriously,” CBS News said in a statement.
Rose was a co-host on the morning show CBS This Morning and a correspondent for its long-running Sunday night news magazine 60 Minutes.
Rose, 75, however, had questioned the accuracy of the allegations in the Washington Post.
“I deeply apologize for my inappropriate behavior,” he said in a statement.
“I am greatly embarrassed. I have behaved insensitively at times and I accept responsibility for that, though I do not believe that all of these allegations are accurate.”
“I always felt that I was pursuing shared feelings, even though I now realize I was mistaken,” he added.
Eight women — who worked at Charlie Rose Inc or aspired to a job there — had accused Rose of making unwanted sexual advances toward them, the Washington Post reported.