The attorney representing Peter Dunn, former president of CBS Television Stations, has issued a statement after CBS announced that Dunn and David Friend, senior VP of news for the station group, are departing the company amid an investigation.
Dunn and Friend were put on administrative leave in January as a third party investigated management issues raised in the Los Angeles Times.
“While CBS has stated it has terminated Peter, it is not for cause, and they continue to pay him under his contract,” said attorney Larry Hutcher.
“Peter has a strong record of hiring and promoting professionals of diverse backgrounds and has been a champion of women and men of color throughout the organization,” the statement continued. “We are confident that the investigation will exonerate Peter and are prepared to fully cooperate, but the opportunity to do so has not yet occurred.”
David Friend's attorney, David M. Pohl, took issue with the accusations as well. "David Friend’s separation from CBS was, as the company itself acknowledges, without any finding that he engaged in the misconduct alleged," he said in a statement. "After two months, the investigation is ongoing--David has yet to be interviewed--and he is confident that, when it concludes, the accusations will be proven false.”
The Los Angeles Times detailed “a hostile work environment that included bullying female managers and blocking efforts to hire and retain Black journalists” within the group, and reported that CBS Television Stations’ acquisition of independent station WLNY New York resulted in Dunn getting membership to an exclusive country club.
Keisha-Ann Gray at Proskauer Rose is conducting the investigation.
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