Jericka Duncan, a national correspondent for CBS News, revealed the contents of the text message that recently-ousted "60 Minutes" executive producer Jeff Fager said was the reason for his firing. He was set to begin his 15th season as executive producer of "60 Minutes", which returns for its 51st season September 30.
CBS News on Wednesday announced that Fager would be leaving the company "effective immediately" amid allegations of inappropriate behavior. In August, he denied the allegations, telling The New Yorker that his accusers were "using an important movement as a weapon", apparently referencing the "Me Too" movement. 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 today about Fager's dismissal. At least a dozen women came forward to accuse Moonves of sexual misconduct in a pair of New Yorker articles authored by Farrow.
CBS has fired long-time "60 Minutes" producer Jeff Fager, saying he "violated company policy".
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.
So Duncan reached out to Fager for comment, and he responded with a menacing message.
According to anonymous sources speaking to The New York Times, former CBS CEO and Chariman Les Moonves's downfall was far from certain once the network became aware of the first allegations against the executive. 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".
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In response, Fager told CBS in a statement that, after 36 years, he was sacked for a "harsh text" that he sent to another CBS reporter.
"This is an outrageous claim and it didn't happen", Fager said in response.
Farrow also cited "nineteen current and former employees" who said Fager "allowed harassment in the division".
He ended, "One such note should not result in termination after 36 years, but it did". The latest allegation against Fager comes from Sarah Johansen, a former CBS intern, who told Farrow that the "60 Minutes" executive producer groped her at a work party.
Asked by King whether she interpreted Fager's text as a threat, Duncan said, "I did, and it's even hard to say that today". Why not roll this violation into the investigations of management practices being conducted by two prominent law firms?
His second-in-command, Bill Owens, has been put in charge temporarily.