CBS News on Wednesday fired Jeff Fager, the executive producer of "60 Minutes," issuing a statement saying he had violated company policy.
The news division's president, David Rhodes, wrote in an email to the staff that Fager's exit "is not directly related to the allegations surfaced in press reports, which continue to be investigated independently." In July, Fager was accused of inappropriate touching by several unnamed women who spoke to The New Yorker.
In addition to those claims, The New Yorker reported that 19 current and former CBS employees, many of whom were unnamed, alleged that Fager allowed harassment in the news division. Fager denied the claims.
Fager said in an emailed statement that he was fired after contacting a CBS reporter who had been covering the ongoing investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct against him and accusations that he had created a workplace that tolerated harassment.
"The company's decision had nothing to do with the false allegations printed in The New Yorker," Fager said in the statement. "Instead, they terminated my contract early because I sent a text message to one of our own CBS reporters demanding that she be fair in covering the story. My language was harsh and, despite the fact that journalists receive harsh demands for fairness all the time, CBS did not like it. One such note should not result in termination after 36 years, but it did."
The firing of Fager, a former chairman of CBS News, comes just days after the chief executive of CBS, Leslie Moonves, stepped down.
In July, Fager was accused by several unnamed women in a New Yorker article of inappropriate touching. In addition to those claims, 19 current and former CBS employees, many of whom were unnamed, alleged that Fager allowed harassment in the news division. Fager denied the claims.
In another New Yorker article published last week, Fager was accused by an additional unnamed woman of groping her at a work party. Fager declined to comment in that story to the magazine.