CBS Settles Reporter's Gender Bias Lawsuit

Resolution of Michele Gillen's lawsuit comes on the eve of trial.
Vallery Jean/FilmMagic
Michele Gillen

CBS Broadcasting has come to a settlement agreement with Michele Gillen, an Emmy-winning investigative reporter based in Miami who alleged being fired due to her gender and age. The resolution heads off a trial that was scheduled to begin Dec.9.

Gillen filed suit in September 2018, a particularly sensitive moment for CBS. As the broadcaster dealt with a sexual harassment scandal at the top of the corporation, Gillen pointed to "toxic misogyny," which she blamed as the reason her contract wasn't renewed. Later in the case, she alleged that her WFOR-TV superiors hatched a scheme for her firing by giving her a story reporting quota without the resources to succeed.

In the final days before trial, a controversy erupted over whether CBS CEO Joe Ianniello would have to testify. CBS argued his testimony was irrelevant while Gillen wished to address a company-wide memo in the wake of the Les Moonves investigation and any communications between CBS' leader and those running the Florida station. CBS also wished to preclude any #MeToo testimony, that is, other alleged examples of harassment or bias in the workplace.

The judge had yet to rule on the matter, but the issue was overtaken by a notice of resolution filed by the parties Tuesday night. Terms of the agreement weren't made public.