'60 Minutes' Executive Producer Jeff Fager Out At CBS

Jeff Fager

Jeff Fager

CBS Evening News revealed tonight the text 60 Minutes EP Jeff Fager sent to one of the news division's female reporters that got him fired. The broadcast's offices are physically removed from the main CBS News office across 57th Street in Manhattan, and Rhodes held a tense meeting there with staff members on Wednesday about Fager's dismissal.

"Jeff Fager is leaving the company effective immediately", CBS News president David Rhodes wrote in a note to staff reported by CBS News.

The exit of Jeff Fager comes three days after the television giant announced the departure of president, chairman and CEO Leslie Moonves, whom at least 12 women had accused of sexual misconduct stretching back decades.

In a statement, Fager denied the allegations and added that the termination was unrelated to them. "Instead, they terminated my contract early because I sent a text message to one of our CBS reporters demanding that she be fair in covering the story", Fager said. 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".

Fager's second in command at "60 Minutes", Bill Owens, will run the show while a search is conducted for a permanent replacement, Rhodes said.

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Rhodes said Fager violated company policy but did not specify the policy. "Similar frustrations about perceived inaction have prompted another woman to raise a claim of misconduct against Jeff Fager".

CBS News reported the change, quoting the note as saying that Fager "is leaving the company" after having served as the executive editor of "60 Minutes" since 2008.

In August, the CBS board of directors hired two outside law firms to investigate the initial claims against Moonves, as well as other reports of sexual harassment and "cultural issues at all levels of CBS". Late past year, former "CBS This Morning" host Charlie Rose was sacked after more than 2 dozen women accused him of sexual misconduct.

'Since Jeff Fager publicly referred to our exchange today, I want to be transparent about it, ' she told viewers. Fager told The New Yorker, "I have never discouraged anyone from going to H.R".

It was shortly after outlets began to pick up the news of Fager's exit that he released a statement of his own, in light of CBS News' refusing to comment on his specific violation.

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