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Two top CBS execs on leave after LA Times investigation alleged racist, misogynistic culture, reports say

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Two of CBS’s top executives are on administrative leave following a Los Angeles Times investigation that alleged the cultivating of a toxic workplace, including a culture of racism and misogyny, according to reports.

“Peter Dunn, President of the CBS Television Stations, and David Friend, Senior Vice President, News for the TV Stations, have been placed on administrative leave, pending the results of a third-party investigation into issues that include those raised in a recent Los Angeles Times report,” read a CBS statement obtained by CNN Business and The Hill.

USA TODAY has reached out to CBS for further information. 

In a report published Sunday, the L.A. Times found that many current and former CBS television station employees were “troubled by the outcome” of the 2018 investigation that led to the firing of longtime CEO Les Moonves following multiple allegations of sexual misconduct and intimidation.

The Times’ investigation found through the interviews plus a collection of court filings and CBS’ internal communications that many still “questioned the company’s commitment to cleaning up its culture.” Some argued that the 2018 investigation was so focused on Moonves’ misconduct it ignored mistreatment happening at the organization’s TV stations. 

More: Les Moonves: New allegation follows report saying ex-CBS boss destroyed evidence

“What was that whole investigation about? Was it just for show?” Marty Wilke, a former general manager of CBS’ Chicago station, told the Times. “The culture starts and stops with Peter Dunn.”

The report specifically included allegations that Dunn and “a top lieutenant cultivated a hostile work environment that included bullying female managers and blocking efforts to hire and retain Black journalists.” 

CBS’s statement added it is “committed to a diverse, inclusive and respectful workplace where all voices are heard, claims are investigated and appropriate action is taken where necessary.” 

Friend had a track record of using insults and expletives with employees, allegations in the Times report claimed. He said in a statement to the news outlet that he has a “strong track record of hiring, supporting and placing women and BIPOC journalists in important roles as anchors, reporters and news directors,” and that his comments were made on the basis of performance, not race or gender. 

More: Ex-CBS CEO Les Moonves will be denied $120 million severance package

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