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Posts Tagged ‘Mark Pimentel’

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.”

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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

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

St. Louis Anchor Who Claimed to be IRS Target Out at KMOV

Saying “there is no higher cause than unbiased, objective news reporting,” St. Louis CBS affiliate KMOV has announced in a statement it has parted ways with anchor Larry Conners.

“We regret to announce that Larry Conners is no longer a KMOV news reporter,” said the statement from KMOV vice president and general manager Mark Pimentel. “Larry was a valued member of KMOV for a long time, and we will miss him.”

Conners was pulled off air last week after posting on facebook that the IRS had targeted him because of a tense interview he did with the President. He later backed off the allegations in an on-air statement telling viewers, “… to be fair, I should disclose that my issues with the IRS preceded that interview by several years.”

Conners facebook page has been taken down. You can read the KMOV statement after the jump. Read more

Linda Danna Named General Manager at WHAS

Linda Danna has been named president and general manager of WHAS, Belo’s ABC affiliate in Louisville.

Danna joins the station from KGPE, the CBS affiliate in Fresno, where she has been president and general manager for four years. In a statement announcing the hire, Belo president of media operations Peter Diaz called Danna “an outstanding leader who is keenly aware of the evolving media landscape and its emerging opportunities.”

Danna has had a long career in local news. Prior to her time at KGPE, she was director of sales and interim general manager for WOAI in San Antonio. She has also served as GM of WWJ-WKBD in Detroit and of WUPA in Atlanta. Read more

Belo Introduces New GMs at KMOV and WWL

Belo today announced the appointments of two new general managers at its stations in St. Louis and New Orleans.

Mark Pimentel has been named president and general manager of KMOV, Belo’s St. Louis CBS-affiliate, and Tod Smith has been tapped as president and GM of WWL in New Orleans, as well as MyNetworkTV sister station WUPL.

“Both Mark Pimentel and Tod Smith are outstanding leaders and have delivered noteworthy results throughout their careers,” said Peter Diaz, Belo’s president of media operations, announcing the hires. Read more