Meredith Vieira Says ‘There Was Sexism, for Sure’ at 60 Minutes

By A.J. Katz 

Veteran TV newser Meredith Viera weighed on Ronan Farrow‘s New Yorker story during one of PBS’ panels today at the Television Critics Association’s summer press tour in L.A.

She’s the host of a new PBS series airing this fall called The Great American Read, but not all of the discussion was centered around the show. Adweek’s Jason Lynch asked Viera if she had a reaction to Farrow’s story that was published Friday, and whether, as someone who spent the more than a decade at CBS News, she recognized the environment described in that story from her time there.

Her answer was similar to what former CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric told Farrow about her time at CBS, saying in the New Yorker story that it “felt like an old boys’ club where a number of talented women seemed to be marginalized and undervalued.”


Here’s Viera response, in full:

I going to be totally honest: I have not read the piece. I’ve been out here shooting a pilot. I know a little bit about it so I don’t want to misspeak. I know it’s about Les Moonves and I think Jeff Fager and a climate of, I’m not sure if it’s sexual harassment, I really don’t know. People know my story from CBS, my time at 60 Minutes. I think there was sexism, for sure. I never was harassed per se, but it was difficult during that time, particularly at that show, to navigate your way as a woman who wasn’t following the party line. But I personally never experienced anything bordering on harassment anywhere that I’ve mean. Maybe they’re scared of me, I don’t know. But I apologize, I just don’t want to comment if I don’t know all the details.”

Vieira spent more than a decade at CBS News, where she garnered five Emmys for her work as a correspondent on 60 Minutes and West 57th. From 1989 to 1991, she was a co-editor of 60 Minutes.

Here’s the logline for The Great American Read:

Examine the power, passion and joy of reading, gauged through the lens of America’s 100 best-loved novels chosen by the public. The multi-part series features reflections from everyday Americans, as well as figures in the entertainment, sports, news and literary worlds, culminating in the first national vote to choose “America’s Best-Loved Novel.” New episodes premiere: Tuesdays, September 11 through October 23.