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Scott Pelley says his complaints of hostile workplace led to firing as CBS news anchor

NEW YORK, NEW YORK--FEB. 23, 2015--American television journalist Scott Pelley is anchor and managin
American television journalist Scott Pelley in 2015, when he was anchor and managing editor of the “CBS Evening News.”
(Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)

Former “CBS Evening News” anchor Scott Pelley says he lost that job because he wouldn’t stop complaining to management about the hostile work environment for men and women.

Pelley was forced out of the position in 2017 after six years on the job.

The “60 Minutes” correspondent told CNN’s Reliable Sources Sunday, however, that things are different after 18 months of dramatic management changes amid a slew of scandals and misconduct claims at CBS.

Executives who have departed include Jeff Fager of “60 Minutes,” network news President David Rhodes, anchor Charlie Rose and CBS Corp. Chief Executive Leslie Moonves, who left in September after multiple women alleged sexual misconduct.

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When asked to elaborate, Pelley said that four or five years ago he went to Rhodes, who was then president of the news division, and described the hostile environment.

“He told me if I kept agitating about that internally then I’d lose my job,” Pelley said. “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, didn’t hear back from him, but in the next opportunity in my contract I was let go from the evening news.”

Now, Pelley said, with the promotion of people such as Susan Zirinsky to head the news division, the first woman to hold that position, the network is on the right track.

Representatives from CBS did not immediately respond to request for comment.

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