Culture&Arts

'60 Minutes' chief Jeff Fager fired over policy violation

'60 Minutes' chief Jeff Fager fired over policy violation

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. Rhodes said Wednesday his exit is "is not directly related to the allegations surfaced in press reports, which continue to be investigated independently".

"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 told Duncan in the text.

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. "However, he violated company policy and it is our commitment to uphold those policies at every level". Fager's ouster comes just days after CBS CEO Les Moonves was forced to step down over his own allegations of sexual misconduct and attempts to suppress his victims.

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

In a guest column for the Hollywood Reporter, Bloodworth-Thomason revealed that her high-dollar contract collided with the arrival of new CBS president Les Moonves.

A day later, the network released the text message and provided some context. "One such note should not result in termination after 36 years, but it did", he said.

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Nineteen current and former CBS employees have accused Fager of inappropriate touching and allowing harassment to occur at the network, according to The New Yorker. "Since Jeff Fager publically referred to our exchange today, I want to be transparent about it", Duncan said. In this second meeting, with his own lawyers also present, Moonves admitted he knew about the police complaint, and he also revealed the existence of another accuser, whom he was now working to silence by offering her a job at CBS.

Original series creator Linda Bloodworth Thomason and executive producer Harry Thomason are behind the new multi-cam series, which will "follow the next generation of Sugarbakers with a crop of new, young, female designers at an Atlanta interior design firm".

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. Bloodworth Thomason insists that while Moonves never sexually harassed or attacked her, he used his position of power to assault other CBS employees, including an actress on an "iconic detective show".

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Bloodworth Thomason soon began to hear stories from colleagues about Moonves' mistreatment of women - including the time he "shoved his tongue" into the mouth of one "iconic" CBS detective-show star after telling her that she was too old to appear on his network. CEO Leslie Moonves on Sunday.