National Correspondent Jericka Duncan, who has been reporting on CBS’ exec harassment allegations and exits, said Fager texted her after she contacted him for comment on Ronan Farrow’s Sunday New Yorker article, in which another women alleged Fager has sexually harassed her at an office party.
The Fager text read:
If you repeat these false accusations without any of your own reporting to back them up, you will be responsible for harming me. Be careful. There are people who lost their jobs trying to harm me and if you pass on these damaging claims without your own reporting to back them up that will become a serious problem.
Earlier on Wendesday, after CBS News announced Fager’s exit, effective immediately, Fager said in a statement that CBS had “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.”
“My language was harsh and, despite the fact that journalists receive harsh demands for fairness all the time, CBS did not like it,” Fager said, complaining “One such note should not result in termination after 36 years, but it did.”
Announcing Fager’s ouster today, CBS News president David Rhodes said in a statement, “This action today is not directly related to the allegations surfaced in press reports, which continue to be investigated independently.”
“However, he violated company policy and it is our commitment to uphold those policies at every level,” Rhodes added.
Across various news outlets, including the New Yorker and Washington Post, more than a dozen current and former employees had claimed Fager, the CBS News chair from 2011-2015 and 60 Minutes EP for the past 14 seasons, condoned harassment in the division.
Watch the CBS Evening News segment above.