CBS turmoil: Ex-'60 Minutes' boss could sue over leaked misconduct probe, report says
As CBS contends with fallout from sexual misconduct allegations against several former executives, ousted “60 Minutes” executive producer Jeff Fager is reportedly mulling a lawsuit against the network after details of its confidential probe into his actions leaked to the public.
The New York Times obtained a copy of a confidential internal report commissioned by CBS, which detailed instances of Fager’s apparent misconduct, and published its findings in a Dec. 4. article. If Fager’s lawsuit proceeds, his attorneys will argue that CBS breached Fager’s contract by allowing the report to leak, the New York Post reported.
In the report, Fager is accused of inappropriate conduct toward several female CBS employees. Fager was fired from his role last September after he reportedly threatened a CBS News reporter investigating the allegations against him.
Compiled by two independent law firms, the report also detailed evidence of sexual misconduct by Leslie Moonves, the former CBS chairman and CEO who stepped down last September amid allegations from several women. Like Fager, Moonves is reportedly considering a lawsuit against CBS over the leaked report, the Post reported.
CBS’s board of directors commissioned the report in part to determine if Moonves’ conduct freed the company of its obligation to pay him a $120 million severance package. The board has yet to make a final decision.
Company representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the leak or potential lawsuits from Fager and Moonves.
CBS Corp. shares sank more than two percent in trading Thursday and were down more than 15 percent so far this year.
The clash with Fager and Moonves comes amid months of turmoil at CBS News. The network reached a settlement with three women who had accused it of failing to adequately address sexual harassment they endured from former “CBS This Morning” and “60 Minutes” journalist Charlie Rose. The veteran anchor was ousted from CBS in 2017 after allegations against him went public.
In a separate development, Deadline reported that Ryan Kadro, the executive producer of “CBS This Morning,” will step down from his post at the end of 2018 as part of a broader shakeup at the program.