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CBS suspended two of its top local-TV executives Monday night following allegations that they cultivated a ‘hostile’ workplace that was first raised by the Los Angeles Times over the weekend, according to reports.
Peter Dunn and David Friend, two heads of its TV station group, allegedly “cultivated a hostile work environment that included bullying female managers and blocking efforts to hire and retain Black journalists,” the L.A. Times reported.
In a statement late Monday, the company said Dunn, the president of the CBS Television Stations, and Friend, the senior vice president of news for the stations, were placed on administrative leave “pending the results of a third-party investigation.”
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The main entrance to CBS (Columbia Broadcasting System) headquarters in New York City on Jan. 10, 2020. (Photo by Erik McGregor/LightRocket via Getty Images)
“CBS is committed to a diverse, inclusive and respectful workplace where all voices are heard, claims are investigated and appropriate action is taken where necessary,” according to the statement.
CBS did not immediately respond to an email from Fox News.
The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) reportedly met with CBS officials Sunday night “regarding disturbing revelations and allegations from the LA Times about the racism and toxic work environment at the company, specifically the CBS Television Stations.”
The NABJ called it a “massive problem among CBS owned-and-operated stations” and urged the firing of both Dunn and Friend.
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The organization said issues raised in the Times report was consistent with multiple workplace concerns expressed by CBS employees and brought to the attention of NABJ and CBS executives during two meetings within the last 18 months.
Dunn, who has been with CBS since 2002, also served as president and general manager of CBS’ Philadelphia stations KYW and WPSG. Since 2005, he has served as president and general manager of WCBS-TV, the company’s flagship New York outlet.
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Friend has served as the News Director at WCBS-TV, the company’s New York flagship, since June 2006.
He told the L.A. Times in a statement that comments he made about employees or job hopefuls “were only based on performance or qualifications — not about anyone’s race or gender.”
“I believe that I — and our stations — have a strong track record of hiring, supporting and placing women and BIPOC journalists in important roles as anchors, reporters and news directors,” he said.
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