CBS ‘60 Minutes’ Executive Producer Jeff Fager to Depart

Story alleges a darker side of'60 Minutes

Jeff Fager, the longtime executive producer of "60 Minutes" who was sacked on Wednesday, sent a text message to CBS News correspondent Jericka Duncan with a warning over the network's coverage of the sexual harassment accusations against him.

Rhodes also wrote that Fager's exit "is not directly related to the allegations surfaced in press reports, which continue to be investigated independently".

"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", Fager wrote, according to Duncan.

"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.

He said Mr Fager had "violated company policy", without elaborating on how. It came only three days after CBS Corp. Jericka Duncan, a CBS News correspondent, checked in with Fager about the claims against him. First, here's some background: "Sunday evening I reached out to Fager for comment on the articles alleging he groped or touched CBS employees at company parties". Why not roll this violation into the investigations of management practices being conducted by two prominent law firms? But Moonves wasn't the only CBS honcho named in the second report, and the spotlight was placed firmly on Fager once Moonves was shown the door.

Watch a livestream of Hurricane Florence bearing down on North Carolina
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"Over the years, even when an actress managed to get one of my scripts through an agent, the deal would immediately be killed".

Duncan said she was "shocked" when she received the text, saying it put her in an extremely compromising position as she looked into allegations of sexual misconduct against Fager. By the end of the day on Sunday, he was officially out as CEO. She also claims that Fager told her to apologize to the other producer to "mitigate conflict in the office".

His second-in-command, Bill Owens, has been put in charge temporarily.

Linda Bloodworth-Thomason has a different kind of Les Moonves story, but it's as powerful as numerous others unearthed in Ronan Farrow's recent exposé about the fallen CBS chief. 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".

But when the LA Times followed up with a report that TV executive Phyllis Golden-Gottlieb had gone to cops a year ago, accusing Moonves of sexual and physical assault when they worked together in the 1980s - he admitted to the directors that he'd known about the police report but didn't tell the company because it was a "personal matter", the Times reports.

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