CBS says '60 Minutes' exec Jeff Fager out for violating company policy

Les Moonves and Julie Chen

Modal Trigger Les Moonves and Julie Chen WireImage

CBS has fired long-time "60 Minutes" producer Jeff Fager, saying he "violated company policy".

Bill Owens, executive editor at "60 Minutes", will step in to manage the "60 Minutes" team while a search for a replacement is conducted.

CBS Chairman and CEO Les Moonves also faced allegations of misconduct, and was removed from the company last weekend after at least 12 women came forward to accuse him of sexual misconduct in a pair of New Yorker articles authored by Pulitzer Prize-winner Ronan Farrow.

CBS said on Monday that it would pay $120 million to former Chief Executive Officer Leslie Moonves if an internal investigation into allegations of harassment fails to provide grounds for his dismissal.

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.

CBS News President David Rhodes announced the departure on Wednesday.

He said Mr Fager had "violated company policy", without elaborating on how.

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"Instead, they terminated my contract early because I sent a text message to one of our CBS reporters demanding that she be fair in covering the story", Fager said.

It was shortly after outlets began to pick up the news of Fager's exit that he released a statement of his own, in light of CBS News' refusing to comment on his specific violation.

Now the reporter who received the message has revealed its contents.

"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". "I really felt like this was one of the most sexist places I've ever worked". Rose had been a co-anchor since 2012 on "CBS This Morning" and a contributing correspondent on "60 Minutes".

Farrow also cited "nineteen current and former employees" who said Fager "allowed harassment in the division". Fager, who was named in reports about tolerating an abusive workplace at CBS, stepped down today. "Similar frustrations about perceived inaction have prompted another woman to raise a claim of misconduct against Jeff Fager".

"Jeff Fager is leaving the company effective immediately", Rhodes wrote. "60 Minutes" is one of the most revered programs in television news.

In July, six former CBS News employees told The New Yorker that Fager "would touch employees in ways that made them uncomfortable" after drinking at office parties.

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