CBS Cuts Loose Two Station Execs As Probe Into Racist, Abusive Conduct Continues


Longtime CBS Television Stations execs Peter Dunn and David Friend have departed the company in the wake of a report disclosing allegations of racist and abusive behavior.

Dunn was president of the division and Friend was SVP of News. They were accused of fostering a corporate culture in which female managers were bullied and Black journalists were denied opportunities.

Bryon Rubin will continue to run the stations group and Kim Godwin will retain oversight of stations’ news operations until new leadership is in place.

“The external investigation into CBS Television Stations management that is being conducted by Keisha-Ann Gray at Proskauer Rose remains ongoing,” CBS said in a statement. “We are thankful to those who have shared their experiences and knowledge with the investigators thus far. CBS is committed to a safe, inclusive and respectful workplace where all voices are heard, claims are investigated and appropriate action is taken when necessary.”

The Los Angeles Times first revealed the allegations last January.

Dunn had served as president of the stations group since 2009 and Friend had been promoted to his role in 2010. The pair’s exit comes a bit more than a year after CBS merged with Viacom, a corporate reunion that followed a grueling period for CBS as its longtime CEO, Les Moonves, was ousted. Almost all of the senior execs who worked for Moonves, who was accused of sexual assault and misconduct by more than a dozen women, have left the company.

In an email to station group employees, CBS Entertainment Group president George Cheeks emphasized that the probe is continuing and he encouraged anyone with tips to come forward. “This entire process, while sometimes painful and emotional, is an important step forward in living up to our promise of a safe, inclusive, respectful and equitable workplace for all of us,” he wrote.

Dunn’s attorney, Larry Hutcher, said in a statement that his client was not terminated for cause and is still being paid under his contract. “Peter has a strong record of hiring and promoting professionals of diverse backgrounds and has been a champion of women and men of color throughout the organization,” he said. “We are confident that the investigation will exonerate Peter and are prepared to fully cooperate, but the opportunity to do so has not yet occurred.”

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