Minutes Jeff Fager leaving CBS after reports of inappropriate behavior

Brenda Watkins
September 13, 2018

Jeff Fager, the longtime executive producer of 60 Minutes, will be leaving the company following allegations that he sexually harassed employees and tolerated an abusive culture at the show.

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. Rhodes noted that Fager's firing "is not directly related to the allegations surfaced in press reports, which continue to be investigated independently", a reference to sexual misconduct allegations against Fager.

Fager, who has denied the claims of harassment, released a statement confirming he was sacked because "I sent a text message to one of our CBS reporters" over her coverage of newer allegations against him that The New Yorker published Sunday.

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

In November 2017, CBS News dropped Charlie Rose following a Washington Post investigation detailing allegations of unwanted sexual advances toward women. First, here's some background: "Sunday evening I reached out to Fager for comment on the articles alleging he groped or touched CBS employees at company parties". "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, '" Duncan said.

He added: 'One such note should not result in termination after 36 years, but it did'. In The New Yorker'slater report, on which Fager declined to comment, Sarah Johansen, a former intern, said Fager groped her at a work party.

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Later on Wednesday, Duncan revealed she was the reporter in question that Fager sent the text to.

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

His departure is effective immediately, the company said in a tweet.

Veteran "60 Minutes" correspondent Steve Kroft called Fager's message to Duncan threatening and inappropriate.

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

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