Minutes Chief Jeff Fager Out at CBS

Ruben Ruiz
September 13, 2018

CBS News is under intense scrutiny this week following the ousting of both CEO Les Moonves and 60 Minutes executive producer Jeff Fager, and there's new reporting from The New York Times tonight on the circumstances of how both ended up being booted.

Bill Owens will manage the "60 Minutes" team until a new executive producer is hired. 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. But Moonves wasn't the only CBS honcho named in the second report, and the spotlight was placed firmly on Fager once Moonves was shown the door.

CBS News president David Rhodes confirmed part of this as well in his memo, writing: 'This action today is not directly related to the allegations surfaced in press reports, which continue to be investigated independently'. "However, he violated company policy and it is our commitment to uphold those policies at every level", wrote Rhodes.

The specific violation involved a text message that Fager sent to Jericka Duncan, one of the CBS reporters who has been covering the fallout from Farrow's reporting.

In a statement to CBS News, Fager said his contract was terminated "for a harsh text I sent to a CBS employee".

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

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

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"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 responded.

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".

But Fager has said that women have made significant advances at the broadcast, to the point where a majority its producers and associate producers are now women.

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

CBS is now the most-watched network in the US.

Sarah Johansen said that when she was an intern Fager allegedly groped her buttocks at a party, and she was later told this move was referred to as the 'Fager arm'. "60 Minutes" is one of the most revered programs in television news.

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

Other reports by GizPress

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