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60 Minutes executive producer Jeff Fager has decided to extend his vacation upon hearing that an investigation into the handling of Charlie Rose’s tenure at CBS News “will be wrapping up soon,” a CBS News spokesperson said Sunday.
Fager was due back in his office on Monday, where the newsroom is reeling from fresh allegations about him and CBS CEO Leslie Moonves, who was accused of sexual misconduct by six women in a recent New Yorker exposé.
The story, which also included claims of misconduct by Fager and that he ignored and enabled bad behavior by two high-ranking male producers, is just the latest report to scrutinize the Fager’s oversight of 60 Minutes and Rose, which was explored in two Washington Post investigative pieces about Rose’s alleged inappropriate behavior.
Fager strenuously denied the allegations in the New Yorker story. “It is wrong that our culture can be falsely defined by a few people with an ax to grind who are using an important movement as a weapon to get even, and not by the hundreds of women and men that have thrived, both personally and professionally, at 60 Minutes,” he said in a statement to the magazine.
But all three reports have led to widespread speculation about Fager’s future at the network.
CBS hired the law firm Proskauer Rose to investigate allegations raised in the Post‘s story earlier this year, which said at least three managers were told of Rose’s behavior. CBS News president David Rhodes told staffers in an internal memo Thursday to expect conclusions from that investigation in August.
“In recent days we have been advised that the Proskauer investigation at the News Division is in high gear and is expected to return its conclusions this month. The independent nature of this probe means News management does not get incremental updates on its findings — although one factor in its duration is that since March, we have added new areas of inquiry for the lawyers,” he wrote.
Just hours prior to Rhodes’ memo, CBS’ Board of Directors announced it had retained two law firms to conduct investigations into claims of sexual misconduct by Moonves. Rhodes wrote, “Our read of last night’s Board announcement is that Proskauer will continue to investigate issues at News, and the findings will be part of the larger CBS investigation. They are proceeding on that basis.”
Marisa Guthrie contributed to this report.
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The Falcon and the Winter Soldier