Published: Thu, September 13, 2018
Culture&Arts | By Dora Pope

Jeff Fager Was Fired After Sending Warning Text to CBS News Reporter

Jeff Fager Was Fired After Sending Warning Text to CBS News Reporter

The 36-year CBS veteran has been at the center of allegations that CBS's news division fostered a culture of harassment.

"If you repeat these false accusations without any of your own reporting to back them up you will be responsible for harming me", Fager wrote, per Duncan. "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".

"Jeff Fager is leaving the company effective immediately", noted Rhodes in the memo.

In a statement to CBS News, Fager said his contract was terminated "for a harsh text I sent to a CBS employee".

"However, he violated company policy and it is our commitment to uphold those policies at every level", Rhodes added.

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Hours after "60 Minutes" executive producer Jeff Fager claimed that his termination Wednesday stemmed from a text message he'd sent to a CBS reporter, the contents of the message were divulged by the network. Rhodes was not made available for comment, and he didn't comment for the "CBS Evening News", either. "I really felt like this was one of the most sexist places I've ever worked".

Just hours after Fager was sacked on Wednesday, a composed Jericka Duncan spoke on CBS Evening News about the text messages and then announced: 'I am that reporter'. My language was harsh and, despite the fact that journalists receive harsh demands for fairness all the time, CBS did not like it. A second Farrow article last week alleged that Fager had groped an employee at a company event.

CBS CEO Les Moonves also stepped down earlier this week amid sexual misconduct allegations. Fager has denied the charges. She said Fager groped her at a work party. The programme 60 Minutes, which airs on Sunday evenings, was first broadcast in 1968.

"Despite Charlie's important journalistic contribution to our news division, there is absolutely nothing more important, in this or any organization, than ensuring a safe, professional workplace - a supportive environment where people feel they can do their best work", Rhodes said in a memo previous year.

Fager and Rhodes had worked for several years as a team, when Fager was appointed CBS News chairman by Moonves. Rhodes was then brought in as news president, taking over full management of the news division when Fager went back to exclusively running "60 Minutes".

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