Jeff Fager ‘77 Accused by Former Intern of Sexual Misconduct at CBS News


Jeff Fager

Mara Stein, Editor-in-Chief

Editor’s Note: On Wednesday afternoon, hours after The Maroon-News went to print, an internal company memo announced that Jeff Fager was leaving CBS News “effective immediately.” David Rhodes, the president of CBS News, noted in the memo that Fager’s exit from the company “is not directly related to the allegations surfaced in press reports, which continue to be investigated independently.” In his own statement, Fager called The New Yorker’s allegations “false,” and said he was terminated for using “harsh” language when “demanding [a CBS reporter] be fair in covering the story.”

Print versions of The Maroon-News will be distributed Thursday with the following article. 

New sexual misconduct allegations against Jeff Fager, Colgate class of 1977 alumnus, emerged in a New Yorker article published Sunday morning. Fager, the executive producer of television newsmagazine “60 Minutes,” has been accused of groping a woman who was an intern at the time of the alleged incident.

Sarah Johansen, who interned at CBS News in the late 2000s, told New Yorker reporter Ronan Farrow that Fager touched her inappropriately at a corporate party. According to Johansen, female producers regularly avoided what they called “the Fager arm” at office functions.

This allegation is not the first one against Fager, who served as the chairman of CBS News from 2011 to 2015. In August, 19 current and former CBS employees alleged in another New Yorker report that Fager condoned a sexually abusive workplace culture. Some said that Fager inappropriately touched employees at work parties; others said that he dismissed complaints accusing other male employees of sexual misconduct.

“I had several producers and editors over the age of sixty who would greet me by kissing me on the mouth. I had people touch my butt a couple times,” a former employee told Farrow. “Fager seemed to encourage that climate. It wasn’t even that he turned a blind eye toward it.”

Allegations against Fager mentioned in both of Farrow’s reports are part of a larger investigation into sexual misconduct allegations against CBS chief executive Leslie Moonves. Hours after the publication of Farrow’s latest article on Sunday, the CBS board announced Moonves’ resignation.

Fager has denied allegations against him. In a statement for Sunday’s New Yorker story, Fager told Farrow: “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.”

Fager graduated from Colgate in 1977 with a bachelor’s degree in English. As an alumnus, he has remained active in the Colgate community, participating in university events related to journalism and career development. His professional accomplishments have been reported in The Scene on several occasions; most recently, a December 2017 article in the alumni magazine highlighted Fager’s new book, “Fifty Years of 60 Minutes: The Inside Story of Television’s Most Influential News Broadcast.” Fager is also a trustee emeritus who received an honorary degree from Colgate in 2013.

Colgate Career Services issued the following statement for this article: “Career Services last worked with Mr. Fager during the Marketing, Media, and Communications Professional Network launch in 2016. We have no future events scheduled with him.”