CBS reporter says she felt threatened by Fager message

Toby Graves
September 14, 2018

CBS "60 Minutes" executive producer Jeff Fager says he's leaving the company, after being named in recent stories that accused him of fostering an abusive workplace.

CBS said in an internal memo that, although the allegations are not directly related to Fager's termination, the company is still conducting an independent investigation into the matter.

It was then noted: 'However, he violated company policy and it is our commitment to uphold those policies at every level'. 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. "My language was harsh and, despite the fact that journalist receive harsh demands for fairness all the time, CBS did not like it".

Just one day after Designing Women creator Linda Bloodworth Thomason penned an emotional personal essay about recently ousted CBS boss Leslie Moonves keeping her shows off the air for seven years, a sequel to the successful sitcom is one step closer to becoming a reality.

CBS released Fager's text last night, and it carried an ominous tone since it warned that "there are people who lost their jobs trying to harm me".

An outside law firm is investigating the charges made against Fager by the New Yorker, and has not yet delivered its report.

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.

Meanwhile, Connecticut's Quinnipiac University, which presented Fager with its Fred Friendly journalism award earlier this year, said it has rescinded the honor.

Bloodworth Thomason doesn't mention the incident or the actress again, but the claim reinforces the sexual misconduct allegations Moonves is now facing and the pattern of behavior suggested in Ronan Farrow's New Yorker pieces.

When Duncan attempted to reach out to him, she said he responded with a text message threatening to jeapordize her career if she proceeded to report on the accusations.

Rhodes said that Fager's longtime No. 2, Bill Owens, will manage the newsmagazine while a search is underway "for a new executive producer of the program".

Julie Chen's return to Big Brother is one thing - she hosts the show alone and only interacts with sequestered house guests who have no idea what is going on outside of the Big Brother bubble - but returning to The Talk, the daytime show she has moderated since 2010, could prove to be more challenging. 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".

He said "Ianniello is in full support of this decision and the transition to come". Now, with more serious allegations against the fallen CBS exec making headlines, Chen has not issued a statement on her current stance.

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