(NEW YORK) — Two days after CBS Corp. CEO Leslie Moonves was fired over a fresh round of sexual misconduct allegations, the network on Wednesday fired 60 Minutes‘ top executive Jeff Fager.
Network news president David Rhodes initially said Fager’s firing was “not directly related” to allegations published in the New Yorker that Fager had groped women and covered for a sexist culture at the news magazine program, but instead for “violating company policy.”
Fager released a statement claiming he sent a “harsh” message to a CBS reporter, “demanding that she be fair in covering the story,” but, “although journalists received harsh demands for fairness all the time, CBS didn’t like it.” Fager added, “One such note should not result in termination after 36 years, but it did.”
On the CBS Nightly News Wednesday, however, CBS News reporter Jericka Duncan revealed she was the reporter in question, and the sexism allegations against Fager was “the story” to which he was referring.
Duncan read anchor Jeff Glor the text reportedly from the executive, which declared, “There are people who lost their jobs trying to harm me and if you pass on these damaging claims without your own reporting to back them up that will become a serious problem.”
Glor called the comments “unacceptable” and insisted “the entire CBS News team” was behind Duncan.
According to The New York Times, 60 Minutes contributor Steve Kroft texted his support as well, calling Fager’s comments to Duncan, “threatening and inappropriate.”
The Moonves and Fager terminations came after CBS Morning Show co-host Charlie Rose was dismissed in November after numerous sexual allegations made against him by former staffers emerged.
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