CBS's Jeff Fager: 60 Minutes producer out amid #MeToo claims


Jeff Fager, who was removed from his post as "60 Minutes" executive producer on Wednesday, sent a text to a CBS News reporter warning her that she could face a "serious problem" if she reported sexual misconduct allegations made against him.

The network news president, David Rhodes, said Fager's firing was "not directly related" to the allegations against him, but because he violated company policy.

Moonves - once considered among the most powerful and well-compensated media executives - resigned as chief of CBS on Sunday evening in light of a second New Yorker article detailing allegations of sexual assault, harassment and intimidation.

Duncan, who has been tasked with reporting on both Fager and Moonves for CBS News these past few days, then went one step further and revealed the exchange that led to Fager's exit.

According to Farrow's report, Fager has been accused of groping or inappropriately touching female CBS News staffers at company events. "My language was harsh and, despite the fact that all journalists receive harsh demands for fairness all the time, CBS did not like it".

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

Moonves and Fager were the subjects of a recent investigation by Ronan Farrow of The New Yorker. "It was. I'll have more reporting on this tonight", she tweeted.

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Steve Kroft, a veteran correspondent on "60 Minutes", told CNN, "Over the years Jeff Fager has done a remarkable job managing '60 Minutes, ' but the text message to Jericka Duncan was threatening and inappropriate".

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". "One such note should not result in termination after 36 years, but it did". "However, he violated company policy and it is our commitment to uphold those policies at every level", wrote Rhodes.

After the text was shared on air, others at CBS also said they interpreted it as a threat.

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

Fager's exit ends a 36-year tenure with CBS News, majority as a producer.

In response to that allegation, Fager told CBS News, "This is an outrageous claim and it didn't happen". "60 Minutes" is, as Rhodes notes in his memo, "the most significant news broadcast on television", having debuted in 1968 and served as the investigative home for such television inquisitors as Mike Wallace, Morley Safer, Ed Bradley and Lesley Stahl.