News & Events | Neeley in the News
Here is a brief look at some of the recent news stories that featured Neeley students, staff and faculty. For a complete look at Neeley in the News, check out In the News Archives.
CBS News, ‘60 Minutes’ Come Under
Scrutiny Amid Leslie Moonves Chaos
– by Brian Steinberg
allegations are worthy of an investigation by “60 Minutes” – if only they
weren’t about the news division that produces the show.
its corporate parent, CBS News has been besieged by a set of
allegations about sexual harassment and the culture of the company. A
blockbuster article in the New Yorker by journalist Ronan Farrow
cites interviews with 19 current and former CBS employees who claim Jeff
Fager, executive producer of “60 Minutes” and a former chairman of the news
division, turned a deaf ear to instances of harassment even as three financial
settlements paid to employees of the newsmagazine were related to allegations
of discrimination or harassment.
one of only two executives to have supervised the long running show, has denied
the allegations. “It is wrong that our culture can be falsely defined by a few
people with an axe to grind who are using an important movement as a weapon to
get even, and not by the hundreds of women and men that have thrived, both
personally and professionally, at ‘60 Minutes,’” he said in a statement to The
New Yorker. Coming at a time when the entire CBS corporation has been roiled by
accusations about its top executive, Leslie Moonves, the report puts the
veteran producer under a tough spotlight and sparks speculation about his fate.
The claims surface after Charlie Rose was ousted at “CBS This
Morning” following a report in The Washington Post that interviewed multiple
women alleging the famous newsman had harassed them, and after a second article
suggesting CBS News managers were aware of concerns about his
behavior. And they suggest that, like Fox News Channel and NBC News before it
in an era when women are speaking out about getting redress after
tolerating harassment for decades, CBS News is in the midst of a reckoning
about its workplace culture.
CBS has been looking into the charges for several months. In
March it retained Betsy Plevan of Proskauer Rose, a specialist in employment
and labor litigation, to investigate the accusations about CBS News. That
process continues even as CBS’ board of directors has set in motion a separate
investigation into allegations of sexual harassment by Moonves, the
company’s executive chairman and CEO, that were made in the same New Yorker
allegations threaten to overwhelm the news division as it works to bolster its
business strategy. CBS News has placed more emphasis on live-streaming
greater amounts of its journalism and also on gaining recognition for new
anchors installed at three of its best-known programs: “CBS This Morning,”
“Face the Nation” and “CBS Evening News.” Those programs frequently draw fewer
viewers than rival shows at NBC and CBS, and CBS has focused on digging deeper
into foreign-news reporting, investigations and stories about tougher news
events in an attempt to draw viewers away from the competition.
there could be potential ramifications for “60 Minutes,” the newsmagazine that
drew an average of 11.5 million people last season and that typically spends
the bulk of its season among TV’s most-watched programs. The show hit a high
note last season, adding Oprah Winfrey to its roster of contributors
and running a joint investigation with The Washington Post about Congress
undermining efforts to stop flow of opioids to the United. States that resulted
in a rebuke of President Trump’s candidate to take the reins of the nation’s
Monday meeting with executives, CBS News President David
Rhodes expressed regret at seeing more allegations about CBS News in the
public conversation, according to a person familiar with the conversation. The
disclosures, he told people, “test your capacity for disappointment,” this
person said, and he expressed hope the division could move forward. CBS News
declined to make executives available for comment.
Corporations eager to change may have to uproot longstanding
policies, including ones that give considerable leeway to anchors and producers
who pull down big salaries and bring in millions of viewers and advertising
dollars each year.
hope for inclusive, supportive cultures but they generally reward results and
power,” notes Abbie Shipp, an associate professor of management at Texas
Christian University’s Neeley School of Business. “Unfortunately, most
organizations seem to take a short-term view to clean up these past issues –
hiring a diversity officer, announcing new sexual harassment training, or
distributing new ‘no tolerance’ policies. Clearly, these things are important.
But for longer-term effects to change culture, the bigger lever could be to
change the incentive structure.”
the entire article here: https://variety.com/2018/tv/news/cbs-news-60-minutes-jeff-fager-harassment-allegations-1202892533/.
CBS Investor Call was Problematic
and Sent the Wrong Signal, Says TCU Expert
Mary Uhl-Bien, the
BNSF Endowed Professor of Leadership, was called upon by CNBC’s “Squawk Box” to talk about CBS News
CEO Les Moonves’ sexual harassment allegations, and how the CBS board appears
to be taking its time deciding on any action to take as opposed to other #metoo
scandals where people were fired very quickly.
Uhl-Bien was featured on the popular morning news show along with William
Cohen, Vanity Fair special correspondent, to provide expertise
on the subject following CBS’ quarterly earnings call with no mention of the
allegations against Moonves.
“Squawk Box” co-anchor Sorkin asked Uhl-Bien who is going to provide the push back to CBS, if not the
“The push has to come from the
investors, which it’s not, from advertisers, and advertisers haven’t done that
yet, or consumers. And when you think about consumers, it’s much easier to hit ‘delete
Uber’ or buy coffee somewhere else or delete your Facebook account than it is
to stop being a customer of CBS,” she answered.
Labor Day Surprise: Union Membership
Grows by 81,000 in Pro-Business Texas
– by Mitchell Schnurman
Unions are having a moment, and it’s not
just the Labor Day holiday. Even in Texas, where union membership is far lower
than the national rate, there are signs of momentum.
activities have been ramping up on several fronts. Union officials pointed to a
big push for paid sick time in Dallas, Austin and San Antonio, and to
union campaigns that signed up about 1,500 hospitality workers in Houston.
Another effort led to a first-ever contract for 500 hotel workers in
numbers also show some growth. In 2017, Texas added 81,000 union members, and
their share of the workforce ticked up from 4 percent to 4.7 percent.
too early to declare a union revival, given that membership has declined
steadily for decades. In 1983, 20 percent of U.S. workers were in a union; that
number has fallen by almost half.
wouldn’t be nearly that high without government workers. Nationwide, union
membership is over five times higher in the public sector, according
to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Texas, participation peaked at 7.5 percent of workers in 1993. The state initially adopted
a right-to-work law in 1947 and modified it in ‘93, and it prohibits
employees from being required to join a union as part of their job. A long
brags about its pro-business climate, which can mean a lot of things: low
taxes, limited regulation, public incentives for expansion and a workforce
that’s largely not unionized. But the recent union gains may be part of a
broader shift in attitudes.
the spring, teachers from West Virginia to Arizona staged giant protests over
pay and benefits, and many saw their efforts pay off. In Missouri,
Republican lawmakers passed a right-to-work law that prompted a petition drive
to put the issue on the ballot. In August, voters in the Show-Me State rejected
the law by a 2-to-1 margin.
people are getting fed up with the system,” said Willy Gonzalez, the Texas
chapter president for Unite Here, a labor union that represents
270,000 in North America. “They’re open to coming together to improve
their rights and working conditions. You can really feel the energy.”
cited a recent effort underway with 2,700 catering employees for United
Airlines. That group, which includes about 800 workers in Houston, will start
voting on joining the union in mid-September.
factors contribute to the higher numbers in Texas. There’s been growth in
local government, which includes teachers, police and firefighters in unions.
And several major employers with big union shops have been
growing. In D-FW, that group includes American Airlines, Southwest,
AT&T, General Motors and Lockheed Martin.
American and Southwest, the vast majority of workers are in unions — 85
percent at American, 83 percent at Southwest. Both have had high-profile
conflicts over contracts, and American’s high labor costs were one factor in
its 2011 bankruptcy.
Southwest has a 45-year record of profits (and profit sharing with
employees). And Southwest leaders have often boasted about being so heavily
new American, led by former leaders of US Airways, worked hard to turn around
financial results and build a new culture. The unions have been essential at
every step, starting with backing the merger of American and US Airways
and lobbying Washington.
can’t imagine why a company would fear unionization or fight it,”
said Elise Eberwein, American’s executive vice president of people and
communications. “That’s old-school thinking.”
made those comments on the same day that flight attendants picketed
American’s headquarters, pushing for better sick leave policies. While the
public clashes may be frustrating for management, they’re part of the process
— and much more often, she said, the groups collaborate in a positive way.
quarter, American’s executive team meets with union leaders to dig into
financial results and discuss emerging issues among front-line workers. For a
company with 126,000 employees, it’s imperative to nurture those lines of
have 27,000 flight attendants, and you can’t possibly synthesize all those views
without some mechanism to bring them forward,” Eberwein said.
few years ago, reservations agents wanted to add stand-up, sit-down desks, an
issue that came up in a meeting with union leaders, she said. The company made
course, you don't need a union in order to be responsive to employees. But some
matters, such as adding health or retirement benefits, can be negotiated more
effectively as a group. Union shops also tend to have lower turnover, an
advantage when unemployment is near historical lows and companies are competing
hard for talent.
“But it’s also harder
to get rid of people,” said Danyelle Williams Ackall, a longtime human
resources executive who teaches at Texas Christian University's Neeley School
And retirement plans
are great, she said, “as long as they’re fully funded.”
That’s a nod to the
many pension plans in the public and private sector that were badly
underfunded. While the problem affected a range of employers, union shops
had some of the largest liabilities.
Some workers would
benefit from union protections on job security and health benefits, Ackall
said, but others haven’t gained much. The same general principle applies to
“A company gets the
union it deserves,” she said. “Treat employees well and the union works with
management. Treats employees poorly and they’ll have an adversarial