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CBS News fires political director for ‘inappropriate’ acts

By Tali Arbel Associated Press

NEW YORK – CBS News has fired its political director, Steve Chaggaris, for “inappropriate behavior,” the latest in a string of powerful men to lose a job over alleged misconduct.

Six weeks ago, CBS News dropped Charlie Rose after several women accused him of unwanted sexual advances. He had been on its morning show, “CBS This Morning,” and was a “60 Minutes” contributor.

At the time, CBS News President David Rhodes told employees that there was “absolutely nothing more important, in this or any organization, than ensuring a safe, professional workplace.” He had said that it was important to CBS’ credibility in reporting on accusations made against media figures that the company manage basic standards of behavior at its own shop.

In an emailed statement sent to The Associated Press on Thursday, CBS News said that “In the last two weeks, accounts of inappropriate behavior by Steve Chaggaris were brought to our attention and were immediately investigated. As a result, CBS News has severed ties with Mr. Chaggaris for violating company policy, effective immediately.” Chaggaris was fired Wednesday.

The company did not specify what Chaggaris was accused of and a spokeswoman declined to answer follow-up questions. Chaggaris was not immediately available for comment.

Chaggaris had led the news team’s political coverage and appeared on-air. He was a longtime employee, having started at CBS News in 1999, with a two-year gap from 2010-2012 working for a news startup and Yahoo.

The video game website IGN also cut ties with its editor-in-chief, Steve Butts, after an “investigation into alleged misconduct,” said IGN Entertainment’s general manager, Mitch Galbraith, in an email Thursday. Butts did not reply to a request for comment via Twitter.

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