CBS is known for retaliatory actions against those who speak out. Former CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley claimed on CNN’s Reliable Sources on Sunday that he lost his job as anchor of the network news program because he “wouldn’t stop complaining to management” about the news division’s “hostile work environment.”
Pelley made the comment after Reliable Sources host Brian Stelter asked the 60 Minutes correspondent what it’s been like to work for the news division which has seen a number of departures and staff changes over the past 18 months.
Pelley said, “I lost my job at the Evening News because I wouldn’t stop complaining to management about the hostile work environment.”
When Stelter followed up, Pelley explained that four or five years ago, he went to the “president of the news division,” who at the time was David Rhodes, and told him, “that this hostile work environment couldn’t go on, for women and men.”
“And he told me if I kept agitating about that internally then I’d lose my job,” Pelley continued, adding that he then went to Rhodes’ “boss, who told me that he didn’t share my concerns.”
After that, Pelley said, he went to former CBS CEO Les Moonves, who exited the network in September after multiple women came forward with allegations of sexual misconduct.
“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,” Pelley explained. “I didn’t hear back from him but in the next opportunity in my contact, I was let go from the Evening News.”
Pelley said that while the “last several years” have been a “dark period” of “incompetent management and sort of a hostile work environment in the news division” he’s optimistic about the future of CBS News, now being led by Susan Zirinsky, under acting CEO Joe Ianniello.
“It’s all blue sky from here,” Pelley, who spoke glowingly of his new bosses, including new 60 Minutes executive producer Bill Owens, said. “I know these people and I know we’re on the right track.”