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Quinnipiac University is rescinding the Fred Friendly First Amendment Award from Jeff Fager, who was dismissed on Wednesday from his longtime perch as executive producer of 60 Minutes at CBS News. Fager had received the award at a luncheon ceremony in June.
“Thank you for writing. He will no longer be recognized as a recipient of the award,” John W. Morgan, a spokesperson for the university, said in an email to The Hollywood Reporter on Wednesday night.
Morgan would not provide an official rationale for the decision.
“America is hungry for real reporting on important subject matter,” Fager said when accepting the award. “That is what we strive for every single Sunday. 60 Minutes has really evolved over the years, but we have kept our standards and our values the same. We still think of our role the way that it was thought of when 60 Minutes was created — news is a public service.”
CBS News president David Rhodes said that Fager’s departure stemmed from his violation of a company policy. In a statement, Fager attributed the company’s decision to end his contract to a “harsh” text message he sent to a CBS News reporter who asked him for comment. That reporter, Jericka Duncan, provided the text message to CBS Evening News, which shared it on Wednesday night.
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