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Minneapolis-St. Paul

KSTP Owner Blames Social Media For #Pointergate Backlash

kstp_304Stanley Hubbard, chairman and CEO of Hubbard Broadcasting, parent company of the station at the center of the #pointergate controversy, went on the defensive against detractors of the KSTP story that claimed the mayor and a get-out-the-vote volunteer were throwing gang signs in a picture.

Hubbard responded to the Minnesota Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists after it called on the Minneapolis ABC affiliate to “disavow” the story, which came to be known as #pointergate.

In his letter, Hubbard stands by his station’s report and blames social media for fomenting controversy, at one point saying the internet lacks credibility.

We know that social media is able to control Internet conversation on any given topic. As I am sure you know, much of what appears on the Internet lacks credibility. We have read all too many Internet messages about our coverage from people (and, in many cases, “bots”) who obviously had not seen our coverage, or who came to the Internet with a predetermined point of view. Sadly, a number of respected news organizations have engaged in what any unbiased professional journalist would recognize as inadequate independent reporting about our story. The fact that our report was the “top trending” story in the Twittersphere for a day or two does not lend veracity to the tweets, biogs and posts it engendered.

Read the full letter after the jump. Read more

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KSTP Chopper Captures Video of Car Driving Through Ferguson Protest

Car-protesters-minneapolis-KSTPKSTP, the ABC affiliate in Minneapolis, got some dramatic video Tuesday afternoon. The station’s Chopper 5 was over a group of people protesting the Ferguson grand jury’s decision not to charge officer Darren Wilson. At one point, a car approached, and then drove directly into the crowd of protesters:

The vehicle can then be seen driving through the protesters, traveling at a low speed. At least one protester is seen being dragged with the vehicle.

It then comes to a stop and several protesters surround the vehicle. The driver of the vehicle then takes off, hitting several protesters as it drives away.

At least one woman was taken by ambulance to an area hospital. Officials said she has non-life threatening injuries.
As of 5:30 p.m., Minneapolis police spokesman John Elder said the driver was not in custody.

Watch the video, after the jump:
Read more

KMSP GM Retiring, Replacement Named

kmsp_logoCarol Rueppel is retiring after 17 years with FOX Television Stations.

“Carol has been a successful leader and respected colleague whose 17-year career with FOX is filled with many accomplishments,” FOX Television Stations CEO Jack Abernethy said in a statement. “We want to thank her for her many years of dedication and wish her much happiness in her retirement. I am disappointed that she is leaving us but respect her decision and she will be truly missed.”

Abernethy announced Rueppel’s replacement would be Sheila Oliver who is Director of Sales at KMSP-WFTC.

“Over the last 13 years with FOX, Sheila has proved herself as a results-driven, strategic and thoughtful executive,” Abernethy said. “She gets our business and understands what it takes to differentiate ourselves from our competitors.”

Before coming to KMSP 12 years ago, Oliver had been VP and GSM at Phoenix FOX owned stations KSAZ-KUTP. She had also worked as VP and GM of WCGV-WVTV in Milwaukee, Wisc., WTVR in Richmond, Va. and WUPW in Toledo, Ohio. She started her career in radio at WJLB in Detroit, Mich.

“The FOX Minneapolis team is passionate, smart and talented,” said Oliver. “I am very fortunate to have the opportunity to build on our success and lead the team to even greater heights in this challenging, complex television environment.”

Minneapolis Mayor Goes After Police in #Pointergate Response

hodges_mayorMinneapolis mayor Besty Hodges used her blog to go after the police in a response to #pointergate.

Hodges tells the head of the police union, though she joins the public in speculating the whole story was an attempt to discredit her, it won’t stop her from holding cops accountable.

There is a critical difference between our good officers who have a bad day on the job, and officers, however few, who have a standing habit of mistreatment and poor judgment when relating to the public, particularly people of color. I am as concerned with the negative effects of this conduct on the police department as a whole as I am with its effects on our community. I am convinced that we can change it, even if it takes years.

#Pointergate, for those not following, was sparked by a KSTP story claiming the mayor and a get-out-the-vote volunteer were throwing up gang signs when they pointed at each other in a picture.

KSTP said the cops tipped them off about the story. In October, she wrote an open letter to the community saying “some officers abuse the trust that is afforded to them, and take advantage of their roles to do harm rather than prevent it.” Read more

Jon Stewart Pokes Fun at Minneapolis Station for Pointergate

Last night, Minneapolis ABC affiliate KSTP found itself the target of “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.”

Stewart lampooned the station’s story about Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges flashing gang signs with a convicted criminal, who just happened to be volunteering to get out the vote in a local neighborhood.

Stewart played a clip from Melissa Harris-Perry‘s MSNBC show pointing out that the gang-sign story probably started when Hodges wrote an open letter about Minneapolis police, saying “…some officers abuse the trust that is afforded to them, and take advantage of their roles to do harm rather than prevent it.” Jay Kolls, the story’s reporter, said it was the police who tipped him off about the gang signs that aren’t gang signs.

According to Stewart, #pointergate, as the story is known on twitter, is less about the mayor siding with a known gangster who isn’t in a gang and more about Minneapolis police throwing a sign of their own to the Mayor, the extended middle finger.

Social Media Continues Attack on KSTP Over ‘Pointergate’

kstp gang report_304The KSTP facebook page still hasn’t recovered after the Minneapolis ABC affiliate aired two stories about Mayor Betsy Hodges flashing gang signs in a photo with a get-out-the-vote volunteer.

Viewers have taken to commenting on unrelated facebook posts put up by the station, including weather warnings.  This morning, a post about the recent snowfall was met with pictures of people, including the Dalai Lama and the Pope, pointing. The Pope’s picture featured the comment, “Yet another thug flashing gang signs.”

Meanwhile, the Twitter hashtag #pointergate continues to thump along at a steady pace. Sex and love advice columnist Dan Savage has joined the attack, offering cash money to anyone who takes a picture wearing an “I’m with Stupid” T-Shirt while standing next to the KSTP reporter who started it all, Jay Kolls:

We asked the station how they plan to address the issue, but haven’t heard back. We’ll update when we do.

Community Takes to Twitter to Mock KSTP Report Accusing Mayor of Flashing Gang Signs

Last night, KSTP reporter Jay Kolls did a story accusing the Minneapolis mayor of throwing gang signs while taking a picture with a convicted felon.

According to Kolls’ report, Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges and the man the Daily Kos has identified as Navell Gordon, are doing much more than pointing at each other. The KSTP reporter claims the two are actually flashing gang signs.

Kolls’ story has set off the bullshit meters of some Minneapolis residents and has triggered accusations of racism. Some are tweeting out gang signs of their own under the hashtag #pointergate in an attempt to mock Kolls’ report.

Read more

KSTP’s Ken Barlow on Life, TV News and Being Honest About Mental Illness


Just so we’re clear on this: I’m not in the least bit impartial about Ken Barlow. To me, he’s a hero. Barlow, meteorologist at Minneapolis ABC affiliate KSTP, revealed he’d been diagnosed with bipolar disorder two years ago. It was a hugely brave decision, and one with tremendous potential to reduce the stigma that surrounds mental illness, especially in television. It inspired me personally to be brave enough to follow his lead.

Two years later, Barlow tells MinnPost he has no regrets. That doesn’t mean it wasn’t a terrifying–and professionally risky–move. “I could have lost my job,” he said. “I could have lost my friends. I had no idea what was going to happen, but I felt like I just couldn’t hold it in anymore”:

It turns out that for me the hardest part of this diagnosis was hiding it. When you’re a public person, everybody thinks you must be perfect. You have the perfect hair, the perfect suits. You even wear makeup on camera. You’re presented as no flaws. So when I was first diagnosed in 2007, I put up all these barriers. I was horrified, because I pictured everybody with a mental illness as “One Flew Over the Cuckoo ’s Nest” or a murderer. That’s all I ever really heard about mental illness.

I was ashamed and embarrassed. My wife helped me build up walls. It got so bad she would go to the drugstore and pick up my prescriptions because I didn’t want people to see me with my medications.

Social Media Fail #493: Smile for Ebola!

KMSP reporter Bill Keller tweeted out a selfie with the morning anchors. It looks like he also wanted to promote his story, “the latest in the Ebola Outbreak.”

Someone noticed and commented.


KMSP Debuts ‘FOX 9 News at 6′

FOX owned Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn. station KMSP has unveiled a new 6:00 p.m. show called FOX 9 News at 6.

The show features “‘good news’ in the community; everyday people who are quietly making the community better. Viewers are encouraged to voice their thoughts on the latest news through social media.” FOX said the show will focus on enterprise, exclusive content.

Randy Meier, Kelcey Carlson and chief meteorologist Ian Leonard anchor the show, which replaced Access Hollywood at that time slot.