'60 Minutes' producer Jeff Fager fired

Sergio Cunningham
September 13, 2018

News on today fired "60 Minutes" top executive Jeff Fager, who has been under investigation following reports that he groped women at parties and tolerated an abusive workplace. 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's departure comes amid a slew of sexual misconduct accusations that have been leveled against the longtime CBS News executive.

An article by Ronan Farrow in The New Yorker published in late July included allegations that Fager had encouraged a "frat house" atmosphere and ignored complaints about harassment from a number of women, even after CBS had paid financial settlements to three employees of the newsmagazine.

In a statement to CNN, Fager said his axing "had nothing to do with the false allegations printed in The New Yorker".

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

The text message to Duncan was a warning over the network's coverage of the sexual harassment accusations against him.

The investigation into Fager by an outside law firm is not complete.

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However, the memo from Rhodes distances Wednesday's action from those accounts.

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

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

Jeff Fager of the show "60 Minutes Sports" speaks on stage during the Showtime panel presentation of the 2013 Winter Television Critics Association Press Tour in Pasadena, California January 12, 2013. "One such note should not result in termination after 36 years, but it did", Fager said.

"This is an outrageous claim and it didn't happen", Fager said in response.

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

"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.

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