CBS has axed Jeff Fager from 60 Minutes due to a threatening message he sent to a reporter.
According to David Rhodes, CBS News president, the executive producer has left the network immediately. He added that the termination of Fager was not directly because of the allegations of sexual misconduct against him.
Accusations Against Jeff Fager
Fager also issued a statement and defended himself, saying that the move was not due to the wrong allegations that were published in The New Yorker.
“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,” said the former executive producer.
The news of Fager leaving the network coincided with the exit of its former president, Les Moonves, Julia Chen’s husband. Mooves and Fager were the subjects of the investigation of The New Yorker’s Ronan Farrow.
Fager sent a message to one of the network’s reporters, Jericka Duncan, who has been reporting about the fallout from Farrow’s articles. The story has talked about allegations against Fager that claimed unwanted touching, however, such accusations have been denied by him.
According to Rhodes, the text that Fager sent to the reporter violated the network’s policy and it is CBS’s commitment to stay true to those rules at all levels.
Notably, Moonves stepped down from his duty after The New Yorker had posted the second story. When Duncan reached out for Fager’s side, she received an alarming reply.
What’s In The Message
“My language was harsh and, despite the fact that journalists receive harsh demands for fairness all the time, CBS did not like it,” Fager admitted.
He added that the message should not be the reason for his termination after 36 years of being with the network. His reply was shared by Duncan on Sept. 12 on CBS Evening News where he warned her to be careful.
“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,” reads Fager’s message to Duncan.
Jeff Glor Weighs In
Anchor Jeff Glor commented that the message was unacceptable. He also assured Duncan that the people on CBS Evening News have her back. CBS network saw the message as a threat.
The veteran correspondent for 60 Minutes weighed in on the issue by stating that Fager has done an amazing job in managing the show, but his message was inappropriate. The situation is something that brings him great sadness.