'60 Minutes' chief Jeff Fager fired over policy violation

Sonja Flemming  CBS

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.

In response, Fager told CBS in a statement that, after 36 years, he was sacked for a "harsh text" that he sent to another CBS reporter.

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"If you repeat these false accusations without any of your own reporting to back them up you will be held responsible for harming me", Fager responded. With Fager out, they are anxious about its future. "Bill Owens, who has served as executive editor at 60 Minutes since 2008, will manage the team during the search for a replacement".

Rhodes' action against Fager also exacerbated the longstanding tensions between "60 Minutes" and the rest of the news division.

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He said "Ianniello is in full support of this decision and the transition to come".

Mr Fager, 63, called the claims "false", and said they "do not stand up to editorial scrutiny". Back in August, the New Yorker's Ronan Farrow had reported that Fager had touched women inappropriately at company functions, not to mention allowed an abusive senior producer to run amok - reporting that this blog expanded.

Both men were defiant after the story was published. Those allegations rode shotgun with the sexual-harassment and assault allegations against CBS chief executive Les Moonves, who resigned his position on Sunday, thanks to a fresh set of allegations from Farrow in the New Yorker. But Moonves wasn't the only CBS honcho named in the second report, and the spotlight was placed firmly on Fager once Moonves was shown the door. Why not roll this violation into the investigations of management practices being conducted by two prominent law firms? In the end, she questioned why Moonves wouldn't just tell her that he had no intention of ever putting one of her shows on his network instead of just keeping her "hopping and hoping".

Bloodworth Thomason soon began to hear stories from colleagues about Moonves' mistreatment of women - including the time he "shoved his tongue" into the mouth of one "iconic" CBS detective-show star after telling her that she was too old to appear on his network. After all, Moonves was the ultimate boss. In November, the company fired longtime TV personality Charlie Rose over allegations of harassment.

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