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Bismarck

Gray TV in Labor Dispute with Employees of North Dakota Station

New_Gray_304Three former employees of Gray Television’s newly purchased Bismarck, N.D. FOX affiliate KNDX are at odds with the station group over why they are now without jobs.

The Bismarck Tribune reports, Gray says the employees’ positions were eliminated as part of the company’s planned consolidation of its newly purchased North Dakota stations. Gray recently consolidated the stations by transferring the programming of some and selling off the licenses of others.

The employees say they were fired when they asked Gray for more money.

Gray Television sent a letter to the Fox station employees on July 25, about a month after the sale closed, informing them the stations would “cease operations” and some positions would be eliminated as a result of the consolidation.

Three master control room operators said plans changed when the company learned it would not be able to move its transmission dish without reinforcing the roof of its downtown Bismarck building. They were told they would likely remain employed through the end of the year but lost their jobs anyway after trying to negotiate for higher wages.

“Gray announced several months ago that on September 15, it would be consolidating the local NBC and Fox stations into a single, more efficient operation to better serve our local viewers,” Gray said in an emailed statement. “We proceeded with that consolidation yesterday, and, as a result of the consolidation, several positions were eliminated, including those held by these three employees. We promised this summer to extend a generous severance package to all employees effected by the consolidation, and we honored that promise yesterday.”

One of the operators, Tim Cunningham, said the events played out differently. Read more

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A.J. Clemente Says His Media Classes Are ‘Sold Out’

AJ Clemente on Fox NewsA.J. Clemente, the former KFYR anchor who was fired after his first words on the air were “fucking shit,” was a guest on Fox News’ “The Real Story with Gretchen Carlson” this afternoon.

Clemente, who was recently hired as a media instructor at Rennert International in New York City, said he is teaching students “the tools of the trade” while he looks for other television opportunities. “The classes are sold out. We have plenty of kids that want to come over … and maybe not [listen to] what I want to say, but they want to learn,” Clemente said.

In case anyone needs a reminder (or just a good Friday laugh), video of the newscast that got Clemente fired is after the jump. Read more

Fired First-Time Anchor A.J. Clemente Looks to Rebuild Career in 2014

TieuClementeA.J. Clemente‘s first words in his first time anchoring at his first job were “fuckin’ shit!

After promptly getting fired by Bismarck NBC affiliate KFYR, and jetting off to talk about his experience on shows like NBC’s “Today” and the “Late Show with David Letterman,” Clemente settled for a job as a bartender in Delaware.

Tuned In’s Jerry Barmash recently spoke with Clemente about what’s next for the infamous first time anchor.

Clemente, 25, tells Tuned In that he’s about to teach a seven-week broadcasting course at a private school in Manhattan.

“It’s to help high school international students,” Clemente says. “They have passion for the media industry and I’m just trying to help them out as I’m trying to proceed with my career.”

While the feelers from TV stations have dried up since his abrupt ouster, Clemente says his teaching stint will also serve as a chance for him to rebuild his own career. Read more

‘Stay Classy North Dakota’: Ron Burgundy Anchors Bismarck Newscast


The marketing department for the upcoming “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues” is working overtime.

In addition his Dodge ads and various in character appearances on talk shows, Will Ferrell gave viewers of Bismarck, ND, CBS station KXMB a show when he donned his Ron Burgundy blazer and mustache and co-anchored the station’s Saturday night news.

Burgundy reported on a parking lot trash fire and at one point tried to ease his way into co-anchor Amber Schatz‘ single and gave sports anchor Jon Schaeffer a bit of a massage.

“You guys did a good job tonight,” Burgundy told the assembled news team of Schatz, meteorologist Jared Piepenburg and Schaeffer. “I can’t wait to do it for real. That was a good warm up.” Read more

Van Tieu, Former Co-Anchor of A.J. Clemente, Leaves KFYR

She was the co-anchor from Bismarck, seen around the world. Van Tieu, the weekend anchor at KFYR in Bismarck, has left North Dakota to return to her native San Francisco Bay Area. Tieu counted A.J. Clemente among her co-anchors at the station — for all of 30 minutes. You know the story by now. He uttered an expletive during the first few seconds of his first newscast back in April, was fired for it, then took his story to “Today” and “Late Show with David Letterman.” At last check Clemente was bartending in Delaware. Tieu, who’d been with KFYR for 8 months, departs the station without another TV job lined up.

 

A.J. Clemente: Cursing Incident Was ‘a Perfect Storm of a Whole Bunch of Mistakes’

A.J. Clemente‘s media tour continued last night with an appearance on “The Late Show with David Letterman.” The former KFYR anchor, who was fired Monday after the first words he spoke on his debut newscast were “fucking shit,” told Letterman that the incident was “a perfect storm of a whole bunch of mistakes” — a tough name to pronounce coming up in his second story, no IFB and the newscast beginning 20 seconds earlier than he thought it would. Watch:

Fired Bismarck Anchor A.J. Clemente Makes the Morning Show Rounds: ‘When I First Saw the Clip, It Was Gut-Wrenching’

Former KFYR anchor A.J. Clemente, who was fired from the Bismarck NBC affiliate after anchoring just one newscast for saying “fucking shit” on the air, made the rounds on the morning shows Wednesday.

On “Today,” Clemente told Matt Lauer and Savannah Guthrie that his language was “inexcusable.” He said he didn’t even know his foul language had been on the air until the third break:

On “Morning Joe,” Tom Brokaw shared an encouraging story about a gaffe early in his career with Clemente: Read more

Support Growing for Fired Rookie Anchor A.J. Clemente

The now famous KFYR anchor, A.J. Clemente, who was fired on his first day on-air when his first words were “fucking shit,” might find his career still has some life in it after all.

After the Bismarck, ND NBC affiliate posted an apology for Clemente’s outburst on its facebook page, a majority of commenters asked the station not to fire him.  One wrote, “I think we’re all adults and are quite capable of getting over it. It’s a non-issue.” While another said, “This kid is probably torturing himself over what happened. Go easy on him, as we all make mistakes.”

Clemente was also a hot topic on the network morning news show circuit, which seemed to see the funnier side of the profanity issue.

On NBC’s “Today” show, Matt Lauer asked the assembled anchor team if Clemente should be given a second chance. Ryan Seacrest, who was on set said, “I think we could relate to possibly being in a situation close to this.  So, maybe he deserves a second chance.” Al Roker, who told mediabistroTV in February his philosophy is “don’t be a jerk” and credited his first big break to a similar situation, agreed saying, “I think he should (get a second chance).  You know, (he’s) a young guy. Obviously, he didn’t mean anything by it. It was an accident.” Read more

A.J. Clemente, Right up there with Sue Simmons and Ernie Anastos

David Letterman‘s Top 10 list Monday night was all about A.J. Clemente, the former (once) weekend anchor at Bismark’s NBC affiliate KFYR who was fired yesterday for uttering the words “fucking shit” as the newscast went out live.

They included:

8. Weatherman tells you to expect an 80% chance of unemployment.

6. Referred to Kim Jong Un as “our great and powerful leader.”

And two of them included clips of two big market anchors swearing on air. This one, involving Sue Simmons in 2008. And this clip of Ernie Anastos in 2009.

“Well, he’ll get a job somewhere,” said Letterman.

A.J. Clemente Fired From KFYR After Using Profanity During First Newscast

A.J. Clemente has been fired from Bismarck NBC affiliate KFYR after his first words at the anchor desk were “fuckin’ shit,” he announced on Twitter:

We’ve reached out to KFYR for comment.

>Update: KFYR general manager Dick Heidt declined to comment, saying the station does not comment on personnel matters.

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