CHICAGO (CBS) — Two top CBS local news station executives who have been accused of a disturbing pattern of racist and sexist behavior are no longer with the company.
“Peter Dunn, President of the CBS Television Stations, and David Friend, Senior Vice President of News for the Stations group, will not return to their positions and will be leaving the Company,” CBS said in a statement. “On an interim basis, Bryon Rubin will continue to run the Stations group while Kim Godwin will continue her oversight of Stations’ news operations until new leadership is in place.
“The external investigation into CBS Television Stations management that is being conducted by Keisha-Ann Gray at Proskauer Rose remains ongoing. We are thankful to those who have shared their experiences and knowledge with the investigators thus far. CBS is committed to a safe, inclusive and respectful workplace where all voices are heard, claims are investigated and appropriate action is taken when necessary.”
The Los Angeles Times first broke the story in January after it obtained legal papers from a former employee of KYW-TV, CBS 3 in Philadelphia. They describe Dunn repeatedly disparaging veteran anchor Ukee Washington, who’s Black. It’s alleged Dunn said Washington was “jive” and “all he does is dance.”
It’s alleged Friend was angry about the hiring of KYW morning anchor Brooke Thomas. According to a former KYW news director, Friend was “just venom and profanity. He screamed, “Tell her to shut the (expletive) up.” The station fired Thomas just months later.
Later, Dunn, it is alleged, objected to extending the contract of Rahel Soloman, who replaced Thomas, because, quote, “I hate her face.”
The LA Times also reports WBBM-TV, CBS 2 Chicago’s former president and general manager Marty Wilke was forced out by Dunn in 2018. The newspaper quoting Wilke as saying “the culture starts and stops with Peter Dunn.”
Both Dunn and Friend were placed on leave after the allegations surfaced.