'60 Minutes' chief Jeff Fager fired over policy violation

'60 Minutes' chief Jeff Fager fired over policy violation

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 president David Rhodes announced Fager's exit in a note to staff Wednesday.

But Rhodes said in his memo that "this action today is not directly related to the allegations surfaced in press reports, which continue to be investigated independently".

"If you repeat these false accusations without any of your own reporting to back them up you will be responsible for harming me", Fager wrote, per Duncan.

He said his contract terminated early "because I sent a text message to one of our own CBS reporters demanding that she be fair in covering the story".

"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".

Some CBS board members wanted to stand by Les Moonves in the face of his swelling sexual misconduct scandal - but they turned on him after learning he was trying to buy one accuser's silence, according to a new report. Rose had been a co-anchor since 2012 on "CBS This Morning" and a contributing correspondent on "60 Minutes".

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Fager previously served as chairman of CBS News and became executive producer of 60 Minutes in 2003.

Fager said in a statement that he was sacked because of the text message.

His exit comes following a series of articles by Ronan Farrow in the New Yorker that included accusations that Fager inappropriately touched employees and that he also allowed harassment in his division.

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.

"Over the years, even when an actress managed to get one of my scripts through an agent, the deal would immediately be killed".

A representative for Fager said he had no further comment on Wednesday night.

The writer-producer ends her editorial by channeling Julia Sugarbaker, the fierce Southern feminist played by Dixie Carter in Designing Women, and giving Moonves a profane three-word send-off. 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". Moonves has left his post but is now staying on in an advisory role while outside law firms investigate the accusations brought by 12 different women against him.