A leaked draft report investigating alleged misconduct at CBS News, launched in the wake of the firing of former “60 Minutes” executive producer Jeff Fager, suggests that the independence that was granted to the successful newsmagazine “permitted misconduct” by some of the show’s employees.
In a story published today by The New York Times, investigators are quoted writing in the report that “the physical, administrative and cultural separation between ‘60 Minutes’ and the rest of CBS News permitted misconduct by some ‘60 Minutes’ employees.”
Fager was fired in September “after he threatened a CBS News reporter looking into allegations about his behavior,” The Times reports. “The investigators wrote that the firing was justified, adding that Mr. Fager had ‘engaged in certain acts of sexual misconduct’ with colleagues and failed to stop misbehavior by others.”
The Times adds: “They also said the misdeeds during Mr. Fager’s run as executive producer, which began in 2004, were less severe than under his powerful predecessor, Don Hewitt, who died in 2009.”
The paper notes that Hewitt, who created “60 Minutes” in 1968 and oversaw it for 36 years, is a “journalistic legend.”
“But investigators revealed that CBS continues to pay out a settlement to a woman who claimed that Mr. Hewitt sexually assaulted her on repeated occasions and destroyed her career,” The Times reports. “The settlement, reached in the 1990s, has been amended multiple times, including this year. In total, CBS has agreed to pay the former employee more than $5 million.”
The final report is expected to be presented to the CBS board next week.