CBS Fires Charlie Rose Amid Sexual Harassment Claims

One day after a report detailed eight different women's allegations of sexual coercion and harassment against Charlie Rose, the talk show host has been terminated by CBS News.

Network president David Rhodes said on Tuesday that despite Rose's "important important journalistic contribution to CBS, 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."

The Washington Post report detailed a pattern of coercion and harassment of women who worked or aspired to work on Rose’s eponymous nighttime talk show.

CBS, PBS and Bloomberg all announced Monday that they were suspending Rose of his duties following the allegations, with PBS and Bloomberg announcing that they will stop distributing Rose's Charlie Rose program.

Staffers at the network were in a state of shock over the disclosures. Rose's co-hosts of CBS This Morning condemned his actions Tuesday morning, although Gayle King admitted that "this is not the man I know."

"None of us ever thought we’d be sitting at this table in particular telling this story, but here we are," King said, making a reference to the round-topped glass table that has become the center of the CBS morning program. "This is not the man I know, but I’m clearly on the side of the women who have been very hurt and very damaged by this," she added.

Norah O'Donnell added, "Let me be clear: There is no excuse for this alleged behavior...This I know is true: Women cannot achieve equality in the workplace or society until there is reckoning."

"This will be investigated. This has to end. This behavior is wrong, period," she continued.

The Washington Post report detailed the accounts of eight women who worked for Rose between the late 1990s and 2011. The reporting showed a pattern of behavior that included "unwanted sexual advances...including lewd phone calls, walking around naked... groping [women's] breasts, buttocks or genital areas."

"It is essential that these women know I hear them and that I deeply apologize for my inappropriate behavior," Rose said in a statement on Monday. "I am greatly embarrassed. 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 that I was pursuing shared feelings, even though I now realize I was mistaken."

It’s unclear who CBS News will tap to replace Rose. The network recently announced that Jeff Glor, a veteran of the network and a frequent fill-in anchor on CBS This Morning, as the new permanent anchor of the CBS Evening News. He is set to begin in mid-December.

Read David Rhodes' full statement below:

Colleagues,

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.

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.

I’ve often heard that things used to be different. And no one may be able to correct the past. But what may once have been accepted should not ever have been acceptable.

CBS News has reported on extraordinary revelations at other media companies this year and last. Our credibility in that reporting requires credibility managing basic standards of behavior. That is why we have taken these actions.

Let’s please remember our obligations to each other as colleagues. We will have human resources support today and every day, and we are organizing more personal and direct training which you will hear about from senior management shortly.

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. If all of us commit to the best behavior and the best work – that is what we can be known for.

Photo Credit: Getty / Roy Rochlin