LOS ANGELES (CBSLA/AP) – CBS News Tuesday fired broadcaster Charlie Rose after allegations of sexual misconduct surfaced in a report by The Washington Post, then PBS followed suit and canceled his long-running interview program.
The firing was announced in a memo Tuesday morning from CBS News President David Rhodes to employees.
“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,” Rhodes wrote in part.
“I’ve often heard that things used to be different,” Rhodes went on. “And no one may be able to correct the past. But what may once have been accepted should not ever have been acceptable.”
The firing comes only one day after the 75-year-old Rose was suspended from his show, “CBS This Morning,” following the Post’s report of eight women who accused the veteran newsman of multiple unwanted sexual advances and inappropriate behavior. They accused the veteran newsman of groping them, walking naked in front of them and telling one that he dreamed about her swimming nude.
Rose has been one of three hosts of “CBS This Morning” since 2012 and is also a contributor to “60 Minutes.”
PBS also announced Tuesday that it had canceled his long-running interview program in light of the story. Rose has interviewed figures in media, entertainment, business and politics on PBS since 1991.
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.”
While PBS has distributed the program, it is produced by a company owned by Rose.
Rose told the Post Monday that he was “deeply embarrassed” and apologized for his behavior: “I have behaved insensitively at times, and I accept responsibility for that, though I do not believe that all of these allegations are accurate. I always felt I was pursuing shared feelings, even though I now realize I was mistaken.”
A stunned Gayle King and Norah O’Donnell, Charlie’s co-hosts for “CBS This Morning,” addressed the allegations on their show Tuesday.
“This is a moment that demands a frank and honest assessment about where we stand and more generally the safety of women,” O’Donnell said.
“I really am still reeling,” King added. “I got an hour and 42 minutes of sleep last night. Both my son and my daughter called me, Oprah called me and said, ‘Are you OK?’ I am not OK. After reading that article in the Post, it was deeply disturbing, troubling and painful for me to read.”