Longtime producer of the popular CBS News program “60 Minutes,” Jeff Fager, stepped down from his position on Wednesday, after violating “company policy,” new memos show.
“Jeff Fager is leaving the company effective immediately," CBS News President David Rhodes wrote in a note to employees, which was obtained by TVNewser.
Despite allegations of misconduct first reported by The New Yorker, Rhodes said Wednesday’s action was “not directly related to the allegations” that surfaced in those press reports, but rather because Fager, who has worked for CBS for more than 35 years, “violated company policy.” The allegations of misconduct will continue to be investigated independently, however.
Bill Owens will manage the “60 Minutes” team until a new executive producer is hired.
CBS Chairman and CEO Les Moonves also faced allegations of misconduct, and was removed from the company last weekend after at least 12 women came forward to accuse him of sexual misconduct in a pair of New Yorker articles authored by Pulitzer Prize-winner Ronan Farrow. 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.
“A number of the women also said that Moonves retaliated after they rebuffed him, damaging their careers,” Farrow wrote. “Similar frustrations about perceived inaction have prompted another woman to raise a claim of misconduct against Jeff Fager.”
Back in July, Farrow cited 19 current and former staffers who alleged that Fager “allowed harassment in the division,” while six former staffers accused Fager of inappropriate touching. The latest allegation against Fager comes from Sarah Johansen, a former CBS intern, who told Farrow that the “60 Minutes” executive producer groped her at a work party.
“All of a sudden, I felt a hand on my ass… The hand belonged to an arm which belonged to Jeff Fager,” she told Farrow. “I really felt like this was one of the most sexist places I’ve ever worked.”
She told Farrow the famed news magazine has a “boy’s club” culture and female staffers referred to avoiding the “Fager arm” at work functions. Farrow corroborated Johansen’s story with a male producer on the show.
Fox News' Brian Flood contributed to this report.