CBS’s Jeff Fager: 60 Minutes producer out amid #MeToo claims
The long-time producer of the CBS News show 60 minutes, Jeff Fager, is leaving his job “immediately” amid claims that he sexually harassed colleagues.
In an internal memo, CBS News president David Rhodes said the departure was “not directly related to the allegations surfaced in press reports”.
He said Mr Fager had “violated company policy”, without elaborating on how.
Mr Fager himself denies harassment, and told reporters he had been fired over a “harsh” text he sent to a colleague.
The news comes just three days after top CBS executive Les Moonves resigned with immediate effect after being accused of sexual misconduct, which he denies.
CBS had been investigating Mr Moonves, 68, since he was accused of harassment in a New Yorker article in July – and fresh accusations from six more women appeared last week.
In the first New Yorker report, former colleagues also accused Mr Fager of inappropriate touching, and of protecting men accused of sexual misconduct.
Mr Fager, 63, called the claims “false”, and said they “do not stand up to editorial scrutiny”.
In a statement on Wednesday, he said CBS had terminated his contract early “because I sent a text message to one of our own CBS reporters demanding that she be fair in covering the story”.
“My language was harsh and, despite the fact that journalists receive harsh demands for fairness all the time, CBS did not like it. One such note should not result in termination after 36 years, but it did,” he said.
CBS is currently the most-watched network in the US. The programme 60 Minutes, which airs on Sunday evenings, was first broadcast in 1968.
Earlier this year, CBS fired veteran presenter Charlie Rose, who was accused of sexual harassment by a number of women, including several CBS employees.