CBS's Jeff Fager: 60 Minutes producer out amid #MeToo claims

Emmett Rice
September 14, 2018

CBS reporter Jericka Duncan appeared on CBS This Morning to talk about the disturbing text message sent to her by ousted 60 Minutes executive producer Jeff Fager when she tried to report on his conduct at the network. The allegations of misconduct will continue to be investigated independently, however. Fager said in a statement that his contract was terminated early "because I sent a text message to one of our own CBS reporters demanding that she be fair in covering the story".

He said Mr Fager had "violated company policy", without elaborating on how. His departure comes two days after CBS announced that CEO Leslie Moonves would step down following allegations of sexual assault and harassment. She also created the Burt Reynolds comedy, Evening Shade, and was an early writer for the CBS sitcoms M*A*S*H, Rhoda, and One Day at a Time.

Fager previously served as chairman of CBS News and became executive producer of 60 Minutes in 2003.

CBS News itself surfaced the text messaging on Wednesday night as part of its package on Fager's firing. The article said 19 current and former employees said Fager enabled a culture that "shielded bad behavior". 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. "Bill Owens, who has served as executive editor at 60 Minutes since 2008, will manage the team during the search for a replacement".

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Duncan said she reached out to Fager on Sunday, after a New Yorker story detailed an allegation against him in which a woman said he groped her at a party.

Jeff Fager of the show "60 Minutes Sports" speaks on stage during the Showtime panel presentation of the 2013 Winter Television Critics Association Press Tour in Pasadena, California January 12, 2013. Fager has denied charges made by former CBS employees in the New Yorker magazine of personal misbehavior at parties and not disciplining people under him who had misconduct issues.

Moonves had already been in exit talks with CBS. A sequel of the Emmy Award-winning comedy, which ran from 1986 to 1993 on CBS, has received a script commitment from the Alphabet Network, according to The Hollywood Reporter. In the end, she questioned why Moonves wouldn't just tell her that he had no intention of ever putting one of her shows on his network instead of just keeping her "hopping and hoping". Glor pointed this out on Wednesday's newscast: "In less than a year", he said, "three of the most powerful men in broadcasting" - Fager, Moonves and Rose - "all accused of sexual misconduct, have either been fired or resigned".

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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