'60 Minutes' producer Jeff Fager fired

Jeff Fager

Fager, who has denied the claims of harassment, released a statement confirming he was sacked because "I sent a text message to one of our CBS reporters" over her coverage of newer allegations against him that The New Yorker published Sunday. The allegations of misconduct will continue to be investigated independently, however.

Longtime producer of the popular CBS News program "60 Minutes", Jeff Fager, stepped down from his position on Wednesday, after violating "company policy", new memos show.

Fager said in a statement that he was sacked because of the text message. He acknowledged that his language in the text was "harsh", but said that "although journalists received harsh demands for fairness all the time, CBS didn't like it".

He said he didn't think one note would have resulted in a dismissal after 36 years at the network, "but it did".

A day later, the network released the text message and provided some context.

CBS "terminated my contract early because I sent a text message to one of our own CBS reporters demanding that she be fair in covering the story", Fager said in a statement to CNN.

"If you repeat these false accusations without any of your own reporting to back them up, you will be responsible for harming me", he texted.

CBS Corp (CBS.N) Chief Executive Officer Leslie Moonves resigned on Sunday amid a new wave of allegations against him of sexual assault and harassment uncovered in two New Yorker stories in the past two months.

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But Fager has said that women have made significant advances at the broadcast, to the point where a majority its producers and associate producers are now women.

He was then forced to submit to an interview with company investigators under threat of being fired, where he came clean that he was trying to get another accuser a gig at CBS after she threatened to go public, according to the paper.

Fager was only the second executive producer of "60 Minutes" in the show's 50-year history.

Several weeks ago, CBS brought in outside law firms to conduct investigations following an initial New Yorker article largely focused on misconduct allegations against Moonves.

Duncan tweeted later Wednesday that the text message was sent to her.

Following her report, evening news anchor Jeff Glor told Duncan that Fager's message was "unacceptable", and that everyone at the broadcast supported her. And since the report from the New Yorker, Fager has said there was no legitimacy to the accusations.

In another report Sunday, former intern Sarah Johansen accused Fager of groping her at a work event.

The extraordinary drama within CBS News is an outgrowth of an investigation into Fager's behavior.

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