60 Minutes correspondent Scott Pelley says he was let go as host of the CBS Evening News because he spoke up to his bosses about the “hostile” workplace within the network’s news division.
In an interview with CNN’s Brian Stelter on Sunday’s Reliable Sources, Pelley explains, “We’ve been through a dark period of the last several years of incompetent management and sort of a hostile work environment within the news division. I lost my job at the evening news because I wouldn’t stop complaining to management about the hostile work environment.”
Pelley — who served as anchor of the CBS Evening News from 2011 to 2017 — went on to share that four or five years ago, he approached management with his concerns. “I went to the president of the news division and explained to him that this hostile work environment couldn’t go on — for women and men — and he told me that if I kept agitating about that, internally, that I’d lose my job,” Pelley reveals. “I went to his boss, who told me that he didn’t share my concerns. And so, having exhausted the possibilities in the news division, I went to the chairman of the CBS Corporation, who listened to me, very concerned, for an hour, asked me some penetrating questions about what was going on. I didn’t hear back from him, but in the next opportunity in my contract, I was let go from the evening news.” (At the time, Les Moonves was chairman of CBS Corporation, while David Rhodes served as president of CBS News.)
But with the current new regime at CBS — which includes a new chairman, the first woman president of the news division and a new executive producer at 60 Minutes — “now everything has changed,” Pelley says, adding that “it’s all blue sky from here. I’m very excited. I know these people, and I know that we’re on the right track.”
UPDATE: In a statement to The Hollywood Reporter on Sunday, a spokesperson for CBS News said, “Scott was expressing his own opinion. We disagree. CBS News has been working hard to advocate for an inclusive, safe and dignified workplace for everyone at CBS News and Scott has been a supporter of these efforts.”
Watch Pelley’s full comments in the video above.