Two CBS local television executives are on administrative leave starting Monday night after a report by the Los Angeles Times alleges that the bosses engaged in inappropriate conduct towards women and people of color.
A statement from CBS confirmed that President of the CBS Television Stations Peter Dunn and Senior Vice President, News David Friend have been placed on leave, pending the results of a third-party investigation into the number of issues raised in the L.A. Times report.
“CBS is committed to a diverse, inclusive and respectful workplace where all voices are heard, claims are investigated and appropriate action is taken where necessary,” the CBS statement added.
The L.A. Times investigation reports that the top bosses “cultivated a hostile work environment that included bullying female managers and blocking efforts to hire and retain Black journalists.” A former employee recalled Dunn making “racist, sexist, homophobic and discriminatory comments.” Other former employees accused Friend of criticizing a new anchor’s accent and cursing at her.
Dunn and Friend’s leave also comes after the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) met with CBS officials to address the claims of racism and toxic work environment reported in the L.A. Times story. Upon the meeting, NABJ called for the immediate termination of the two CBS execs.
“It is clear that there is a massive problem among CBS owned-and-operated stations, and in order for the company’s culture to be transformed, it must begin with the firing of Dunn and Friend,” the NABJ wrote on Monday afternoon.