Jeff Fager, the longtime executive producer of 60 Minutes, is leaving CBS amid accusations of inappropriate behavior, The New York Times reports. The ousting comes just two days after network CEO Leslie Moonves stepped down due to similar claims.
Fager was accused of sexual misconduct by six former employees in early August, when The New Yorker reported he allegedly touched women inappropriately at company parties. More employees said Fager protected those accused of sexual harassment in the workplace. Fager has denied all claims.
According to the Times, CBS hired two law firms to independently investigate the accusations.
An company memo from CBS News President David Rhodes states that Fager’s departure “is not directly related” to the allegations of sexual misconduct. “However, he violated company policy and it is our commitment to uphold those policies at every level,” wrote Rhodes, CNN reports. CBS did not clarify what company policy Fager violated.
In a statement to CNN, Fager said the network “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.” It is unclear what story Fager was referencing.
“My language was harsh and, despite the fact that journalists receive harsh demands for fairness all the time, CBS did not like it,” he said, according to CNN. “One such note should not result in termination after 36 years, but it did.”
Fager’s second-in-command, Bill Owens, will lead 60 Minutes while CBS searches for a new executive producer, the company stated.