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Posts Tagged ‘Karen Scott’

Media Professor Says WPIX Should Trim 10 P.M. News to 30 Minutes

Now that WPIX is moving on without its captain, we analyze if they are better off, and what’s ahead for the Tribune flagship?

Earlier this month, we reported Bill Carey stepped down as Channel 11 news director. It was a three-year run that attempted to finally lift WPIX past rival WNYW. But Queensborough Community College media professor Eileen White thinks aside from the new bells, whistles, and talent, nothing much has changed at WPIX. She says the newscasts, primarily at 10 p.m., attempted to reinvent the wheel, but in the process, alienated viewers.

One of Carey’s signature moves were to extricate Jodi Applegate from News 12 Long Island and bump seasoned partners Jim Watkins and Kaity Tong.

“That smacks of ageism too,” White tells FishbowlNY. “Let’s just put younger people on, because younger people like [watching] younger people.”

Ironically, Tong, 63, earlier this year gave testimony in an age discrimation lawsuit filed by former WPIX news director Karen Scott.

White also points to a more chronic problem for WPIX, the Fox prime-time lineup.

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WPIX Beats Age-Discrimination Suit Against Former News Director

We’ve reported about the recent ratings win for WPIX. But the Tribune flagship also has a victory in the legal world.

A jury Wednesday, in its second day of deliberations, ruled against former Channel 11 news director Karen Scott. She had claimed that her 2009 firing was age-related. Scott, who turned 60 before being let go, worked 16 years at WPIX.

The station argued that Scott was dismissed due to weak ratings and declining ad revenues.

Scott sought $4.5 million in her lawsuit. Scott’s lawyer, Kenneth Rubenstein, says no decision has been made on whether his client will appeal, Newsday reports.

WPIX weekend anchor Kaity Tong, who turned 65 last month, and veteran reporter Marvin Scott, 74, were among the witnesses who testified in Manhattan Federal Court.

WPIX is not out of the woods yet. Channel 11 and former station general manager (and current WLNY GM) Betty Ellen Berlamino face similar age-discrimination lawsuits from former sports anchor Sal Marchiano and one-time features reporter Larry Hoff, the New York Post writes.

WPIX Anchor Kaity Tong Takes Stand in Former Boss’ Age Discrimination Suit

The testimony was akin to legal fireworks, as WPIX weekend anchor Kaity Tong appeared as a witness in the age discrimination trial of her former news director.

Tong, who turned 65 this week, was in Manhattan Criminal Court yesterday to defend Karen Scott, and promptly told lawyers that she was also singled out because of ageism.

Tong recounted a meeting with then-station GM Betty Ellen Berlamino (now GM at WLNY), who was Scott’s superior, according to the Daily News.

She said Berlamino criticized her performance and cut her salary “rather dramatically.” Tong, the former PIX co-anchor (with Jim Watkins) added, “I was devastated, surprised, hurt, and I thought it was baseless.  I was blindsided.”

Tong, a New York mainstay in the mid 1980s at WABC, believed she was given a bad review and the pay cut because “they were setting the groundwork to eventually get rid of me because of my age.”

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Sportscaster Sal Marchiano Files Age Discrimination Suit Against Former WPIX General Manager

Longtime sportscaster Sal Marchiano filed a multimillion-dollar age discrimination lawsuit against the former head of WPIX/Channel 11.

Marchiano, who left WPIX in December 2008 when the station decided not to re-sign him, is seeking unspecified damages. The Daily News reports that the figure could hit $10 million.

When Marchiano, 69, originally exited station officials called it a retirement, although the sportscaster said otherwise.

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in the Southern District of New York, names Betty Ellen Berlamino, the former general manager of Tribune-owned Channel 11. The station itself was not named.

The article says Marchiano’s legal proceedings took place in large part because of former news director Karen Scott filing her own suit in June. In it, Scott maintains that she was pushed out due to age discrimination.

Scott, according to the Daily News, alleges that the station, led by Berlamino, demoted Marvin Scott and tried to force out Kaity Tong. (This week, WPIX reassigned anchors Tong and Jim Watkins in favor of Jodi Applegate.)

He just ‘doesn’t look good on the air,’ Berlamino allegedly said of Marchiano, according to Scott’s suit.

FishbowlNY attempted to reach Berlamino. Messages were not returned.

Channel 11 had no comment.

Lunch: Happy Birthday Donna Hanover & Paula Zahn

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— DIANE CLEHANE

If it’s Wednesday, it’s party time at Michael’s. We’re still recovering from the head spinning spectacle of last week’s A-list lunch for James Cameron. This week, the celebration was a tad more low-key at Table One as public relations maven Joannie Danielides hosted her annual birthday luncheon for her good pal and long time client, Donna Hanover, whose actual birthday was February 15. Joannie, who is busier than ever these days with a full roster of clients in health care and education, told me it was actually a double celebration since it was guest Paula Zahn‘s birthday as well.

I caught up with Paula before she joined the party to chat about her new show, On the Case with Paula Zahn, on Discovery ID. “We’ve just been renewed for a second season,” said Paula, who looked better than ever in a chic leopard print top and some killer stiletto boots. “It’s been great. I’m getting to do some amazing stories. Right after this, I’m getting on a plane and heading to an Alabama prison.” Some people have all the fun.

I had lunch with two of my favorite people today: producer Joan Gelman and Robert Zimmerman, partner of the Long Island based marketing firm, Zimmerman/Edelson. Joan arrived first and told me about her recent trip to Vietnam with her husband, Don Aronson. Both Joan and Don were anti-war activists back in the day and are still true believers. On this trip, the couple spent some time visiting orphanages and were “shocked and appalled” to see the awful effects that Agent Orange has wrought on the country. “It was horrifying to see the stark reality of what war can do to a people — and what we did to these people,” Joan told me.

Things lightened up a bit when Robert arrived. Between the two of them, they know just about everyone in New York and, trust me, the conversation is never dull. (Most of the juiciest stuff is, of course, off the record.) Since Joan is a die-hard Democrat and Robert is an in-demand political commentator for all the cable channels, we had plenty to talk about. When Evan Bayh‘s surprise resignation from Congress came up, Robert offered this assessment: “Saying he’s fallen out of love with Congress is something a 14 year-old adolescent would say. There’s a lot more to it than being in love; it’s about getting the job done.” Robert had these words of advice for jump-starting the stalled government: “The challenge for the Democrats is to come out of group therapy and get things started again. The ball is in our court. Success depends on us acting on our message.”

Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:

1. Birthday girls Donna Hanover and Paula Zahn, Joannie Danielides, Gayle King, Time Inc’s Ann Moore, Linda Stacey, Karen Scott, Sue Leibman and Matilda Cuomo. A little birdie told me the girls dug into two birthday cakes: one carrot cake and one chocolate. It seems like the group couldn’t get enough sweet treats. We spied doggie bags stuffed with cookies being packed into a few purses.

2. Most of ‘The Imber Gang:’ Dr. Gerald Imber, Jerry Della Femina and Jeff Greenfield

3. Gerry Byrne, who just launched Fidelis Global Enterprises LLC. New clients of his advertising media consultancy agency include Adgenesis and Beezag. I caught up with Jerry until his guest, Jane Hanson, arrived. I told Jane I loved the stuff she’s been doing on LX New York, showing the fledgling talking heads how it’s done.

4. A bespectacled Mike Ovitz and a fellow we didn’t recognize

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