Jeff Fager, the longtime executive producer of "60 Minutes" who was sacked on Wednesday, sent a text message to CBS News correspondent Jericka Duncan with a warning over the network's coverage of the sexual harassment accusations against him.
In a statement sent to CNN's Brian Stelter, Fager said his ouster had nothing to do with the New Yorker story. Fager has denied the charges.
Fager's exit was "not directly related to the allegations surfaced in press reports" but he had "violated company policy", Rhodes added.
CBS News reported Wednesday that correspondent Jericka Duncan reached out to Fager on Sunday seeking his response to allegations made in a New Yorker story published earlier that day detailing allegations of him touching CBS employees inappropriately.
In a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, Fager put a fine point on his dismissal. He acknowledged that his language in the text was "harsh", but said that "although journalists received harsh demands for fairness all the time, CBS didn't like it".
"One such note should not result in termination after 36 years, but it did", Fager was quoted as saying.
He said Mr Fager had "violated company policy", without elaborating on how.
CBS Chairman and CEO Les Moonves also faced allegations of misconduct, and was removed from the company last weekend after at least 12 women came forward to accuse him of sexual misconduct in a pair of New Yorker articles authored by Pulitzer Prize-winner Ronan Farrow.
The investigation into Fager by an outside law firm is not complete.
Back in July, Farrow cited 19 current and former staffers who alleged that Fager "allowed harassment in the division", while six former staffers accused him of inappropriate touching.
"All of a sudden, I felt a hand on my ass..."
"60 Minutes" will enter its 51st season under the leadership of executive editor Bill Owens while the search for a new executive producer begins. "It was. I'll have more reporting on this tonight", she tweeted.
Duncan revealed the contents of the text message on the "CBS Evening News" on Wednesday, "since Jeff Fager publicly referred to our exchange today". Earlier this week, CBS announced plans to donate $20 million to charities affiliated with the #MeToo movement and equality for women in the workplace.