Charlie Rose Fired by CBS News Amid Harassment Claims

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CBS News president David Rhodes issued a statement Tuesday, noting Rose's "extremely disturbing and intolerable behavior."

Charlie Rose has been terminated by CBS News, network president David Rhodes announced Tuesday. The decision comes just one day after a Washington Post report detailing a pattern of coercion and harassment of women who worked — or aspired to work — on Rose’s eponymous nighttime talk show.

On Monday Bloomberg and PBS, which distributed Rose’s show, announced that they would cease to do so. At CBS News, Rose was a longtime correspondent at 60 Minutes and in 2012 was the lynchpin, along with Gayle King, in the network’s revamped morning show, CBS This Morning. Norah O’Donnell joined the show shortly after its launch in January 2012, and it has delivered its biggest morning audience to CBS News in 20 years.

In his statement Tuesday, Rhodes said that despite Rose's "important important journalistic contribution" to CBS, "there is absolutely nothing more important, in this or any organization, than ensuring a safe, professional workplace — a supportive environment where people feel they can do their best work. We need to be such a place."

Rose, 75, is the latest in a string of powerful men in the entertainment and news industries to be outed as an alleged serial harasser. For CBS News executives there was little choice but to part ways with Rose.

Some staffers at the network were in a state of shock over the disclosures, although Rose has been a target of multiple journalistic investigations in the wake of the bombshell disclosures about disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein.

It’s unclear who CBS News will tap to replace Rose. The network recently announced that Jeff Glor, a veteran of the network and a frequent fill-in anchor on CBS This Morning, as the new permanent anchor of the CBS Evening News. He is set to begin in mid-December. On Tuesday morning, King and O'Donnell anchored the show themselves, leading with the revelations about Rose. 

The Washington Post report detailed the accounts of eight women who worked for Rose between the late 1990s and 2011. The reporting showed a pattern of behavior that included "unwanted sexual advances…including lewd phone calls, walking around naked…groping [women's] breasts, buttocks or genital areas."

Rose owned his program through his company Charlie Rose Inc., and none of the women worked for PBS or Bloomberg. The show was based at Bloomberg’s New York City headquarters. 

On Monday, Rose said, "In my 45 years in journalism, I have prided myself on being an advocate for the careers of the women with whom I have worked,” in a statement provided to The Post. “Nevertheless, in the past few days, claims have been made about my behavior toward some former female colleagues.

“It is essential that these women know I hear them and that I deeply apologize for my inappropriate behavior. I am greatly embarrassed. I have behaved insensitively at times, and I accept responsibility for that, though I do not believe that all of these allegations are accurate. I always felt that I was pursuing shared feelings, even though I now realize I was mistaken.

“I have learned a great deal as a result of these events, and I hope others will too. All of us, including me, are coming to a newer and deeper recognition of the pain caused by conduct in the past, and have come to a profound new respect for women and their lives.”

Read David Rhodes' full statement below.

Colleagues,

A short time ago we terminated Charlie Rose’s employment with CBS News, effective immediately. This followed the revelation yesterday of extremely disturbing and intolerable behavior said to have revolved around his PBS program.

Despite Charlie’s important journalistic contribution to our news division, there is absolutely nothing more important, in this or any organization, than ensuring a safe, professional workplace—a supportive environment where people feel they can do their best work. We need to be such a place.

I’ve often heard that things used to be different. And no one may be able to correct the past. But what may once have been accepted should not ever have been acceptable. 

CBS News has reported on extraordinary revelations at other media companies this year and last. Our credibility in that reporting requires credibility managing basic standards of behavior. That is why we have taken these actions.

Let’s please remember our obligations to each other as colleagues. We will have human resources support today and every day, and we are organizing more personal and direct training which you will hear about from senior management shortly.

I’m deeply disappointed and angry that people were victimized—and that even people not connected with these events could see their hard work undermined. If all of us commit to the best behavior and the best work—that is what we can be known for.

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