CBS '60 Minutes' chief delays return as harassment investigation continuesAugust 6, 2018
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Jeff Fager, the executive producer of “60 Minutes” and former CBS News chairman, will remain on vacation as investigations continue into misconduct allegations at the network’s news division.
In a statement on Sunday, CBS confirmed that Fager would not be returning to work on Monday as previously scheduled. CNN first reported the change.
CBS News President David Rhodes told company executives on Thursday that an investigation into sexual harassment claims at CBS News has been in progress and is expected to conclude later this month, according to Variety. The report is expected to in part detail whether executives including Fager were aware of sexual harassment complaints.
CBS said in a statement on Sunday: “Having heard the investigation will be wrapping up soon, Jeff has decided to stay on vacation.”
Fager’s future at the company has been called into question following a recent article in The New Yorker about harassment complaints at CBS against CEO Les Moonves. In that article, Fager was also accused by several anonymous women of inappropriate touching, with other employees alleging that Fager tolerated harassment in the CBS News division.
Fager denied the allegations, telling The New Yorker “they never happened,” and disagreeing with the characterization of how harassment allegations were dealt with.
“It is wrong that our culture can be falsely defined by a few people with an axe to grind who are using an important movement as a weapon to get even, and not by the hundreds of women and men that have thrived, both personally and professionally, at ‘60 Minutes,’” Fager told The New Yorker.
CBS News hired the law firm Proskauer Rose to look into allegations of sexual harassment by “CBS This Morning” anchor Charlie Rose, which were first published by The Washington Post in November. The Post published a second article in May that included criticism of how the Rose situation was handled by CBS News. Rose was also a contributing correspondent on “60 Minutes.”
In the Post article, Fager denied any knowledge of Rose’s actions.
“I was never informed that Charlie behaved badly with women,” Fager said. “I hired him because he was one of the best interviewers in the country. Period. If I knew there was this darker side he never would have been hired.”
Fager took over as executive producer of “60 Minutes” in 2004 and was chairman of CBS News from 2011 to 2014.