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.
Bill Owens will manage the "60 Minutes" team until a new executive producer is hired. The decision came amid multiple accusations of sexual harassment against Fager in The New Yorker in July and just days after the company's CEO and chairman, Les Moonves, departed over similar allegations.
Fager's departure comes amid a slew of sexual misconduct accusations that have been leveled against the longtime CBS News executive.
An outside law firm has been investigating Fager following reports in the New Yorker that he groped women in parties and protected men accused of misconduct.
Rhodes said Fager violated company policy but did not specify the policy.
Fager, in a statement to CNN, said the text was a demand that "she be fair in covering the story".
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Fager responded to Duncan's request for comment, a journalistic standard, with an angry response telling the reporter she would be "held responsible for harming me" if she repeated the allegations without her own reporting on the subject.
Now the reporter who received the message has revealed its contents. "I really felt like this was one of the most sexist places I've ever worked".
Jeff Fager of the show "60 Minutes Sports" speaks on stage during the Showtime panel presentation of the 2013 Winter Television Critics Association Press Tour in Pasadena, California January 12, 2013. "Similar frustrations about perceived inaction have prompted another woman to raise a claim of misconduct against Jeff Fager". The New Yorker report published Sunday presented a claim from a new accuser, an intern at CBS in the early 2000s, who says he "groped her" at one of the work parties.
'Jeff Fager is leaving the company effective immediately, ' read a memo sent to CBS staff on Wednesday afternoon.
In November 2017, CBS News dropped Charlie Rose following a Washington Post investigation detailing allegations of unwanted sexual advances toward women. 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 past year.