Jeff Fager is leaving his longtime post as executive producer of 60 Minutes.
“Jeff Fager is leaving the company effective immediately. Bill Owens will manage the 60 Minutes team as Ingrid Ciprian-Matthews and I begin the search for a new executive producer of the program. 60 Minutes is the most significant news broadcast on television. We are fortunate to have incredibly talented journalists in place whom we know will continue to deliver our defining investigative work,” CBS News President David Rhodes said in a statement obtained by PEOPLE.
The statement continues, “This action today is not directly related to the allegations surfaced in press reports, which continue to be investigated independently. However, he violated company policy and it is our commitment to uphold those policies at every level. Joe Ianniello is in full support of this decision and the transition to come.”
According to a statement from Fager, 63, the executive producer doesn’t believe the reasoning for his termination after 36 years was valid.
“The company’s decision had nothing to do with the false allegations printed in The New Yorker. Instead, they 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 tweeted by a Washington Post reporter.
His statement continued, “My language was harsh, and despite the fact that journalists receive harsh demands for fairness all the time, CBS did not like it. One such note should not result in termination after 36 years, but it did.”
In the piece, Fager was accused of inappropriately touching employees. “Last month, six former employees said that Jeff Fager, the 60 Minutes executive producer and former CBS News chairman, had touched employees at company parties in ways that made them feel uncomfortable. Others said that Fager protected men accused of misconduct, including men who reported to him,” reported The New Yorker.
“In a speech to staff last month after returning from vacation, Fager addressed the allegations. In a statement for this story, Fager said, ‘I have encouraged everyone at 60 Minutes to speak to the lawyers reviewing our culture with the hope that our entire staff would have a voice, and the truth would come out about our workplace. It was at the center of my talk to the staff when we returned from vacation because I believe that a fair and open investigation will determine 60 Minutes is a good place where talented women and men thrive and produce some of the finest broadcast journalism in America,’ ” The New Yorker reported.
“The initial allegations also included claims by nineteen current and former employees that Fager had tolerated harassment in the division,” according to New Yorker. “A number described the environment at 60 Minutes under Fager’s leadership as ‘a frat house.’ “
RELATED VIDEO: CBS CEO Les Moonves Accused of Sexual Misconduct by 6 Women, Including Actress Illeana Douglas
The same day the New Yorker profile was published, the network announced that Moonves was leaving CBS.
“For the past 24 years it has been an incredible privilege to lead CBS’s renaissance and transformation into a leading global media company. The best part of this journey has been working alongside the dedicated and talented people in this company. Together, we built CBS into a destination where the best in the business come to work and succeed,” Moonves, 68, said in a statement to Variety. “Untrue allegations from decades ago are now being made against me that are not consistent with who I am. Effective immediately I will no longer be Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of CBS. I am deeply saddened to be leaving the company. I wish nothing but the best for the organization, the newly comprised board of directors and all of its employees.”
CBS and Moonves “will donate $20 million to one or more organizations that support the #MeToo movement and equality for women in the workplace,” CBS said, adding that the donation will be made immediately.
“Moonves will not receive any severance benefits at this time (other than certain fully accrued and vested compensation and benefits),” the network said, explaining that any future payments are contingent upon investigations into the allegations against Moonves and the board’s approval.
Moonves will be temporarily replaced by chief operating officer Joseph Ianniello, the network said.