By Don Reisinger
December 7, 2018

The investigation into 60 Minutes has found that its status as a wildly profitable and popular part of CBS News allowed it to largely operate independently, and in turn, suffer from serious sexual misconduct at its highest ranks.

Investigators are preparing a draft report of their evaluation of 60 Minutes, the iconic show’s top executives, and sexual misconduct claims that span decades. And according to The New York Times, which obtained a copy of that report, the show’s independence paved the way for misconduct.

According to the report, the show’s former executive producer Jeff Fager “engaged in certain acts of sexual misconduct” and apparently turned a blind eye to instances in which others engaged in such behavior. However, the report cautioned that Fager’s predecessor Don Hewitt, who died in 2009 and created the show in 1968, had worse charges against him. The Times said that CBS has been paying out a settlement to a woman since the 1990s after it was discovered Hewitt sexually assaulted her several times. CBS reportedly agreed to pay the woman $450,000 and renegotiated the settlement six times with higher payouts to keep her quiet. In total, she’s received more than $5 million and will receive $75,000 in annual payments until she dies.

The reported findings are part of a broader investigation two independent law firms are conducting into sexual misconduct at CBS. The first centers on 60 Minutes and allegations earlier this year that the show has had a history of sexual harassment and abuse over the years. Fager was fired in September following the accusations. CBS separately hired lawyers to investigate former chief executive Les Moonves and sexual misconduct allegations against him.

Earlier this week, the Times published details from the draft report on the Moonves investigation. The investigators found additional claims against Moonves and said that he lied to them to obstruct their investigation. If true, he could face the possibility of losing his $120 million severance package.

At 60 Minutes, however, there was a clear distinction between the way some of its people acted and how those at CBS News conducted themselves, according to the investigation. While 60 Minutes had a “toxic” work environment for women, the report reads, according to the Times, CBS News didn’t have the same environment.

The report is a draft that’s expected to be presented to the CBS board next week ahead of the company’s annual meeting. The investigations are expected to be completed by the end of January.

CBS declined Fortune’s request for comment on the report.

SPONSORED FINANCIAL CONTENT

You May Like

EDIT POST