Jeff Fager, the longtime executive producer of CBS “60 Minutes,” was fired Wednesday amid allegations of sexual misconduct.
Fager was accused in an August report by Ronan Farrow of sexual harassment and of presiding over a culture of cover-up that hid abuse at the hands of network talent.
“It’s top down, this culture of older men who have all this power and you are nothing,” one veteran producer said. “The company is shielding lots of bad behavior.”
Fager has denied the allegations, describing the accusers as “a few people with an ax to grind.”
CBS News president David Rhodes denied that Fager’s departure was directly related to the “allegations surfaced in press reports,” instead declaring that Fager “violated company policy.”
“Jeff Fager is leaving the company effective immediately. Bill Owens will manage the 60 Minutes team as Ingrid Ciprian-Matthews and I begin the search for a new executive producer of the program,” Rhodes said in a statement. “This action today is not directly related to the allegations surfaced in press reports, which continue to be investigated independently. However, he violated company policy and it is our commitment to uphold those policies at every level.”
Fager was at CBS for 36 years and at one time served as the president of CBS News. His claim to fame, however, was residing over “60 Minutes” and making the show an investigative powerhouse.
CBS CEO Les Moonves recently resigned from his role at the network after he was named in two separate reports by Ronan Farrow. A dozen women accused Moonves of sexual harassment and assault and the CBS board of directors is relying on independent counsel to investigate the allegations.
UPDATE (2:51 pm):
Fager released the following statement, alleging that his violation of company policy was “sen[ding] a text message to one of our own CBS reporters demanding that she be fair in covering the story.”
Jeff Fager’s statement to CNN: “The company’s decision had nothing to do with the false allegations printed in The New Yorker.” pic.twitter.com/QyF5as5m8L
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) September 12, 2018