CBS News on Wednesday announced that Fager would be leaving the company "effective immediately" amid allegations of inappropriate behavior. Rhodes noted that Fager's firing "is not directly related to the allegations surfaced in press reports, which continue to be investigated independently", a reference to sexual misconduct allegations against Fager.
Fager responded to Duncan's request for comment, a journalistic standard, with an angry response telling the reporter she would be "held responsible for harming me" if she repeated the allegations without her own reporting on the subject.
The announcement roiled CBS News and came right on the heels of CBS CEO Les Moonves' exit from the company. Jericka Duncan, a CBS News correspondent, checked in with Fager about the claims against him. (FYI, CBS was home to both Murder, She Wrote and Cagney & Lacey.) Bloodworth Thomason said Moonves even removed the portraits of historic female television stars (Lucille Ball, Mary Tyler Moore, Candace Bergen, Bea Arthur) from the walls of the CBS studio, and she believes he deliberately changed the focus of the network to male-dominated shows like The Big Bang Theory and Two-and-a-Half Men.
The investigation into Fager by an outside law firm is not complete. But Moonves wasn't the only CBS honcho named in the second report, and the spotlight was placed firmly on Fager once Moonves was shown the door.
He added: 'One such note should not result in termination after 36 years, but it did'.
A representative for Fager said he had no further comment on Wednesday night. Rhodes was then brought in as news president, taking over full management of the news division when Fager went back to exclusively running "60 Minutes".
Charlie Rose, who hosted the morning news show alongside Gayle King and Norah O'Donnell, was dropped from the show in November following sexual misconduct allegations. In January, when rumors first began to swirl that there was a story coming out about the CEO, Moonves met with Michael J. Aiello, a lawyer hired by the network's board of directors, and he insisted that there were only a few incidents from before his time at CBS and nothing current for the network to worry about.