CBS's Jeff Fager: 60 Minutes producer out amid #MeToo claims

CBS's Jeff Fager: 60 Minutes producer out amid #MeToo claims

CBS News reporter Jericka Duncan says she felt threatened when "60 Minutes" boss Jeff Fager sent her a text message to "be careful" when she questioned him about reports that he tolerated an abusive environment at the newsmagazine.

CBS News on Wednesday announced that Fager would be leaving the company "effective immediately" amid allegations of inappropriate behavior.

CBS said in an internal memo that, although the allegations are not directly related to Fager's termination, the company is still conducting an independent investigation into the matter.

"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".

"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.

"On the day I officially parted company with CBS, the same day Mr. Moonves said he would only pay a tiny fraction of the penalties, my incredulous agent asked what he should tell me".

After the text was shared on air, others at CBS also said they interpreted it as a threat.

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Duncan tweeted later Wednesday that the text message was sent to her.

CBS launched an investigation into Fager over the summer. "I was never sexually harassed or attacked by Les Moonves", she wrote in her guest column titled "Not All Harassment Is Sexual".

Bill Owens will manage the "60 Minutes" team until a new executive producer is hired.

In a statement to CNN, Fager said his axing "had nothing to do with the false allegations printed in The New Yorker".

The directors then began planning his exit - but reportedly still planned on giving him a $90 million exit package, until the New Yorker published a second story Sunday with six more accusers who also slammed the possibility of a golden parachute. "Since Jeff Fager publically referred to our exchange today, I want to be transparent about it", Duncan said.

He has been at CBS News for more than 35 years. The vast majority of Twitter users think that Moonves assaulted Angela Lansbury, star of the hit CBS detective drama Murder, She Wrote, and now, fans are coming to the 92-year-old actress' defense.

But when the LA Times followed up with a report that TV executive Phyllis Golden-Gottlieb had gone to cops past year, 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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