CBS ‘60 Minutes’ Executive Producer Jeff Fager to Depart

Irene MckinneySep 13, 2018

Jeff Fager, the executive producer of the flagship CBS news program, "60 Minutes", has left the network.

But Rhodes said in his memo that "this action today is not directly related to the allegations surfaced in press reports, which continue to be investigated independently".

CBS News reporter Jericka Duncan said she received Fager's message after she started to work on a story about him on Sunday, following the posting of a New Yorker story with fresh allegations that were denied by Fager. Jericka Duncan, a CBS News correspondent, checked in with Fager about the claims against him. Fager declined to comment to the magazine.

For several hours on Wednesday, the contents of his text were a secret. A CBS News reporter working on a story about Fager revealed that he had sent her a text message urging her to "be careful".

Fager said in a statement today that "my language was harsh, and despite the fact that journalists receive harsh demands for fairness all the time, CBS did not like it".

Fager said he would not have thought that one note would have resulted in a dismissal after 36 years at the network, "but it did". Murder, She Wrote was canceled in 1996, when Lansbury was 70 years old.

The text reads, "If you repeat these false accusations without any of your own reporting to back them up you will be held responsible for harming me".

The New Yorker this summer reported allegations that Fager, who had been at CBS News for more than three decades, touched employees inappropriately and enabled a culture of bad behavior inside the organization. "I thank everyone here for their support". He also introduced "CBS This Morning" in January 2012.

The text message from Fager represents an attempt to pull rank and intimidate a reporter, something that surely happens to investigative reporters all the time at CBS News. "This whole situation saddens me deeply".

In another report Sunday, former intern Sarah Johansen accused Fager of groping her at a work event. There's also some anger and apprehension. With Fager out, they are anxious about its future. In 2015, he returned to "60 Minutes" as executive producer.

Bill Owens will manage the "60 Minutes" team until a new executive producer is hired.

"On the day I officially parted company with CBS, the same day Mr. Moonves said he would only pay a tiny fraction of the penalties, my incredulous agent asked what he should tell me".

Both men were defiant after the story was published.

The investigation into Fager by an outside law firm is not complete. The legendary TV writer revealed that she was producing a pilot titled Fully Clothed Non-Dancing Women and immediately became anxious when she heard that Moonves "was rumored to be a big fan of topless bars".

Moonves had already been in exit talks with CBS. After all, Moonves was the ultimate boss.

Incidentally, Linda Bloodworth-Thomason is now developing a Designing Women reboot, but this time she won't have to worry about Les Moonves blocking it no matter what network she pitches it to.

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