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Jericka Duncan, a national correspondent for CBS News, revealed the contents of the text message that recently-ousted "60 Minutes" executive producer Jeff Fager said was the reason for his firing.

Rhodes said that Fager's longtime No. 2, Bill Owens, will manage the newsmagazine while a search is underway "for a new executive producer of the program". On Sunday, Duncan reached out to Fager for his response to allegations in The New Yorker that he had groped or touched CBS employees at company parties.

In a July story in The New Yorker, journalist Ronan Farrow reported that six former employees told him that Fager would touch employees in ways that made them uncomfortable at company parties, and that in one instance he made a drunken advance toward one junior staffer.

Rhodes said Fager's ouster was "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. 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 has denied the charges.

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

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In the texts, which were sent after Duncan went for comment, Hager wrote: 'If you repeat these false accusations without any of your own reporting to back them up, you will be held responsible for harming me'.

At the end of Duncan's report, anchor Jeff Glor said to her, "That message was unacceptable". He was known as a hands-on executive producer, famous for meticulous involvement in screenings of prospective "60 Minutes" segments - in the tradition laid out by his predecessor. In 2011 he was named the first ever chairman of CBS News, launching the current iteration of "CBS This Morning" during his tenure. She also claims that Fager told her to apologize to the other producer to "mitigate conflict in the office".

Nineteen women have come forward to detail what they claim was a hostile environment at 60 Minutes where harassment was condoned, with some detailing specific incidents involving Fager. 60 Minutes is the most significant news broadcast on television.

Sources at CBS News said there was a consensus that the network couldn't take action in the Fager case until the Moonves case was settled.

CBS has figured prominently in coverage of sexual harassment in the workplace.


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