CBS News fired Charlie Rose Tuesday afternoon following a newspaper report that said he had sexually harassed a number of female employees who worked on his PBS program. PBS also severed its distribution agreement with Rose.
David Rhodes, CBS News president, said in a statement, “A short time ago we terminated Charlie Rose’s employment with CBS News, effective immediately. This followed the revelation yesterday of extremely disturbing and intolerable behavior said to have revolved around his PBS program.”
The report in The Washington Post Monday detailed a pattern of groping and harassment dating back years, some of the behavior taking place at his home in Bellport. PBS — which distributes his long-running interview program, “Charlie Rose” — on Monday suspended Rose, who apologized for his behavior in a statement.
In his statement, Rhodes said, “Despite Charlie’s important journalistic contribution to our news division, there is absolutely nothing more important, in this or any organization, than ensuring a safe, professional workplace — a supportive environment where people feel they can do their best work. We need to be such a place.” He added, “I’m deeply disappointed and angry that people were victimized — and that even people not connected with these events could see their hard work undermined.”
Rose, 75, a contributor to “60 Minutes” and co-anchor of “CBS This Morning” since 2012, has been associated with CBS News for more than 30 years, first as anchor of a long-running overnight interview program called “Nightwatch,” later as a correspondent for “60 Minutes II,” which he joined at launch in 1999. His clout and reputation, however, have long rested on the interview program — a veritable who’s who parade of major figures in arts, politics and public policy who sought out Rose or whom Rose sought out.
PBS has distributed his interview program since the early ’90s, but it is produced by a company owned by Rose. PBS’ announcement that it was terminating its relationship with the host came an hour after CBS News announced it was terminating Rose.
In a statement, PBS said that the service “expects all the producers we work with to provide a workplace where people feel safe and are treated with dignity and respect.”
Earlier Tuesday, Rose’s co-anchors discussed the allegations on-air.
“None of us ever thought we’d be sitting here at this table telling this story, but here we are,” said “CBS This Morning” co-anchor Gayle King on Tuesday’s edition of the network’s morning program.
Both King and co-anchor Norah O’Donnell offered prepared remarks, with O’Donnell saying at the outset, “Let me be very clear. There is no excuse for this alleged behavior. It is systematic and pervasive and I’ve been doing a lot of listening.” She added, “Women cannot achieve equality in the workplace or in society until there is a reckoning.”
Both O’Donnell and King said they planned to speak to Rose later Tuesday.
In a statement released to the Post Monday, Rose said in part, “In the past few days, claims have been made about my behavior toward some former female colleagues. It is essential that these women know I hear them and that I deeply apologize for my inappropriate behavior.”
The Associated Press also contributed to this story.