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Posts Tagged ‘KMOV’

Judge Clears Ex-KMOV Anchor Larry Conners to Work in St. Louis Radio, But Not Television

conners_newA judge has ruled that former KMOV anchor Larry Conners can work in St. Louis radio but not television, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Conners was fired from the St. Louis CBS affiliate after claiming the IRS was targeting him because of a tense 2012 interview with President Obama. His KMOV contract included a non-compete clause that prevents him from working at another TV or radio station in St. Louis for a year. Conners subsequently filed an age discrimination suit against KMOV.

According to the Post-Dispatch, Circuit Judge Kristine Allen Kerr removed the word “radio” from the non-compete clause:

Kerr said she was not convinced KMOV would risk losing viewers or ratings from radio competition. However, Kerr said KMOV’s “interests in protecting its television viewer base, ratings and advertising revenue are legitimate.”

The judge also found KMOV had the right to fire Conners “for cause” and did not breach Conners’ contract. The judge also said she found no evidence KMOV fired Conners because of his age.

“It’s perfectly clear that I’m fine to do radio,” said Conners, who said previously that he talked with officials from several radio local radio stations after being fired. He said he did not discuss specific terms with radio stations because the non-compete clause dampened radio stations’ interest. Read more

Larry Conners Files Second Suit Against KMOV, Still Active on Facebook

Larry Conners, the longtime anchor who was fired from St. Louis CBS affiliate KMOV, has filed a defamation suit naming the station, general manager Mark Pimentel, news director Sean McLaughlin and parent company Belo Corp.

The suit claims those named in the complaint, “falsely communicated to the public that [Conners'] professional performance was inadequate, poor, and seriously defective.” He also filed an age discrimination suit against KMOV in May.

The veteran anchor was let go in May after writing on his Facebook page he was being targeted by the IRS after a tense interview with President Obama.

You might think he would sour on social media after losing his job of 28 years over what he wrote on Facebook, but Conners has embraced it. He has a new Facebook page titled Larryconnersusa where he posts news and opinion on everything from the potential for US involvement in Syria, to “Obamacare,” to puppy love. Conners has also posted updates on his legal battle with his former station.

TVSpy asked him whether he thought his Facebook activity would hinder his future job prospects. “The hold-up at this point does not involve my views, but rather the non-compete which KMOV/Belo insist on enforcing even though I was fired for a FB posting,” said Conners who claims the non-compete clause prevented him from taking a job in July. “My action was not a reason to terminate someone with 28 years as a Prime Anchor. I didn’t commit a crime or slander someone.”

Read more

Larry Conners: ‘I Have Been Offered a Job to Return to Broadcasting in St. Louis’

Larry Conners, the St. Louis anchor who was fired from CBS affiliate KMOV after he claimed the IRS was targeting him as a result of a tense interview with President Obama, says he has been offered a job “to return to broadcasting in St. Louis.”

Conners, who announced the news of the job offer on Facebook, says he is unable to accept the job because KMOV is enforcing a one year non-compete clause in Conners’ contract. Conners did not identify which station made the offer.

“My attorney, Merle Silverstein, is filing to stop KMOV from enforcing the non-compete so I can return to St. Louis airwaves,” Conners wrote.

Conners also said he is moving forward with a complaint filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission claiming he was fired because of his age. [h/t St. Louis Post-Dispatch]

Twitter Watches KMOV’s ‘Mass Casualty Event’ Report During Tornado Prove False

Friday night, when tornadoes swept through the St. Louis area, KMOV, the local CBS affiliate broke into its weather coverage with a report about ‘a mass casualty event’ at a nearby Holiday Inn.

Over the course of the night, viewers seemed to figure out KMOV’s initial report wasn’t true at the same time the station did. Twitter users picked up on the story as it unfolded and eventually the St. Louis Post-Dispatch put together a timeline tracking the story’s evolution. Here is a timeline we put together with the times of the KMOV reports along with twitter traffic.

8:30 p.m.Steve Templeton is updating viewers on the unfolding weather scene. He is interrupted by KMOV meteorologist Matt Chambers. “Steve, I have to stop you for just a moment,” says Chambers. “The folks back in the control room just tell me, and there will be more information on this shortly I’m sure, and this is an exact quote from the control room, ‘We have a mass casualty episode at the Holiday Inn in Earth City.’” Chambers adds, “What I can say right now is mass casualty event at the Holiday Inn in Earth City.”

8:30 p.m. – Viewer Stephen Bolen tweets, “Mass casualty at the Holiday Inn in Earth City, per KMOV. #stlwx

8:41 p.m.Andy Carvin, senior strategist at NPR, tweets, “Apart from KMOV, is anyone else reporting a “mass casualty event” at the Earth City, MO Holiday Inn? Can’t find independent sources.”

Keep in mind Bolen lives in St. Louis. Carvin told TVSpy he lives in Washington, D.C.

Read more

St. Louis’ First African-American Anchor Gives Larry Conners His Best, ‘Really?’

Former St. Louis anchor Julius Hunter is taking former KMOV anchor Larry Conners to task in an Op-Ed in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Conners was let go at KMOV after posting allegations on his facebook page the IRS was targeting him after a tense interview with President Obama. He recently filed a discrimination suit with the Missouri Commission on Human Rights and EEOC. In the complaint, Conners says he got paid less than a female African-American former co-anchor because of his race and his gender.

Hunter wrote in his Post-Dispatch piece, “First of all, what’s all this stuff about racial discrimination directed at an anchor? Seems like I survived some heavy-duty, Grade-A Large racism being the first African-American reporter/anchor in a regular St. Louis prime time TV slot. Survived it unscathed for 33 years.”

To read the entire piece, click here. Read more

KMOV Adds Maurice Drummond as Sports Director

Maurice Drummond has been hired by St. Louis CBS affiliate KMOV as sports director.

Drummond comes to KMOV from rival FOX affiliate KTVI. But don’t expect to see him on air anytime soon. KMOV news director Sean McLaughlin told TVSpy he anticipates Drummond making his on-air debut sometime before the end of the year.

According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Drummond will be the first new TV sports director in St. Louis in nine years. He replaces Steve Savard who switched to news in February.

Larry Conners Files Age Discrimination Suit Against KMOV

Larry Conners has made good on his threat to pursue legal action against Belo Corp. and St. Louis CBS affiliate KMOV. In documents obtained by TVSpy, Conners has filed an age discrimination complaint with the Missouri Commission on Human Rights and EEOC.

In the complaint, Conners alleges the station retaliated against him after a dispute over his salary resulted in arbitration last year:

Beginning in December 2010, I have complained to KMOV management about the disparity in pay between me and my previous co-prime anchor, Vickie Newton, an African-American female; I claimed that I received less compensation than Newton because of my race and gender. Ultimately, my complaints resulted in arbitration against KMOV and Belo. Since that arbitration concluded in April 2012, I have been treated differently by KMOV.

Conners says general manager Mark Pimentel and news director Sean McLaughlin removed him from all but one of the evening newscasts, effectively demoting him from his position of primary anchor. He also alleges “other news staff with less news experience was sent out into the field to cover major breaking news stories.” Conners says he was given a two-year contract while other, younger staffers received three-year contracts.

Conners also says KMOV’s response to his claims that the IRS targeted him after a tense interview with President Obama was a result of the salary dispute: Read more

Larry Conners: KMOV ‘Forced Me’ to Read a ‘Misleading Statement’

Former KMOV anchor Larry Conners is doubling down on his claim that the IRS targeted him after a tense interview with President Obama. In a statement this morning, Conners said he can “finally speak in response to the allegations labeling me a ‘tax cheat’, ‘tax fraud’ … because of a misleading statement the [sic] KMOV forced me to read.”

Conners said KMOV “dictated” a statement for him to read on the air “which sounded as if I withheld information to infer a connection between President Obama and the IRS action, and which I was not allowed to amend or explain.” Conners said a “gag order” from the station prevented him from sharing more details:

Here is the clear timeline: I was on an IRS payment plan since August 2011 and made all payments on time. The Obama interview (which went viral) was in April 2012. Between that interview and September 2012, I was informed that the IRS was cancelling my payment plan. I hired a tax attorney and we started working on ways to continue the plan, but could not and still cannot get any resolution. These are facts and not accusations.

TVSpy has reached out to KMOV general manager Mark Pimentel for comment.

Read Conners’ full statement, released through his attorney, after the jump. Read more

After Getting Fired From KMOV, Larry Conners Gives First TV Interview to Rival KTVI

Larry Conners is speaking out about getting fired from St. Louis CBS affiliate KMOV on a rival station.

Conners, who is planning on exploring legal action against KMOV, sat down with KTVI anchor Charles Jaco in an interview that will air on the St. Louis Fox affiliate Sunday (preview above).

“I wouldn’t have even brought the subject up if there had not been the so-called rogue agents story going on. Because remember, I had been through this for months. I never said anything up to that point. It was only based on the news story breaking and I thought, I’m seeing all these cases come up, and they supposedly were going after different groups and individuals. I raised it and put it out to the forum to start conversation,” Conners said.

Fired Anchor Larry Conners Explores Legal Action Against KMOV

An attorney for former KMOV anchor Larry Conners has notified the St. Louis CBS affiliate that “legal action relating to the termination of Mr. Conners’ employment” is possible.

In a letter sent to KMOV general manager Mark Pimentel Thursday, an attorney for Conners requested the station “carefully preserve and not destroy any and all papers, records and documents relating to Mr. Conners’ employment and termination.”

The letter included a list of seven items to be saved, including Conners’ personnel file and communications between Pimentel and Belo Corp. about Conners. Merle Silverstein, the attorney, says the items “could be relevant to a possible legal action.”

Conners was fired from KMOV for claiming the IRS was targeting him after a tense interview with President Obama. Conners later admitted that his issues with the IRS began before the 2012 interview.

View the full letter from Conners’ attorney after the jump. Read more

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