UPDATED: CBS News and PBS officially cut ties with Charlie Rose on Tuesday morning, in light of the sexual harassment allegations against the host. That means, effective immediately, Rose is off “CBS This Morning,” while PBS has ended distribution of his late night chat show “Charlie Rose.”
CBS News president David Rhodes sent this memo to staffers:
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.
And here’s the statement from PBS:
“In light of yesterday’s revelations, PBS has terminated its relationship with Charlie Rose and cancelled distribution of his programs. PBS expects all the producers we work with to provide a workplace where people feel safe and are treated with dignity and respect.”
Rose had hosted “Charlie Rose” for PBS since 1991 (first for New York’s WNET, and nationally since 1993), and had anchored “CBS This Morning” since 2012. Rose owns and produces “Charlie Rose,” so it’s unclear whether he plans to attempt to take it elsewhere. But given the allegations leveled against the host, it’s unlikely another outlet would be willing to take it on.
EARLIER: “CBS This Morning” typically opens in splashy fashion, thanks to an early morning “eye opener,” which unspools a quickie montage of news that has broken overnight, a fine enough entry point for the long-running morning show. But on Tuesday morning, the show opened in a serious fashion, with co-anchors Gayle King and Norah McDonnell sitting next to each other for a frank discussion about their missing third anchor: Charlie Rose.
Rose was suspended on Monday night after a bombshell report in The Washington Post that chronicled allegations by eight women — many of them fellow journalists or aspiring journalists — who allege that Rose harassed them over a period of years. After the story dropped, Rose was swiftly suspended by both CBS and PBS, which distributes his “Charlie Rose” series.
In an official statement released to the Post, Rose said, “It is essential that these women know I hear them and that I deeply apologize for my inappropriate behavior. 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.”
As “CBS This Morning” kicked off this morning, it was clear that the repercussions of his actions were already ringing out through the CBS newsroom. “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. “Let me be very clear: There is no excuse for this alleged behavior. It is systematic and pervasive.”
She added, “This I know is true: Women cannot achieve equality in the workplace or society until there is reckoning and a taking of responsibility…This will be investigated. This has to end. This behavior is wrong, period.”
King, still struggling with the news, took a more personal approach. “I really am still reeling,” she said. “I got an hour and 42 minutes of sleep last night…I am not okay. After reading that article in the Post, it was was deeply disturbing, troubling, and painful for me to read. I think we have to make this matter to women.”
She added, “I have enjoyed a friendship and a partnership with Charlie for the past five years and I have held him in such high regard and I am really struggling…Charlie does not get a pass here, he does not get a pass in this room. We are all rocked by this…I can’t stop thinking the anguish of these women, what happened to their dignity, what happened to their bodies, what happened maybe even to their careers.”
You can watch the opening of this morning’s “CBS This Morning” below.