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St. Louis Man Dies Morning Before KSDK Airs Investigative Story About Him

ksdkSt. Louis NBC affiliate KSDK had to cancel plans to air an investigative report about a local contractor after the man died the morning before the story about him was supposed to air.

The Gannett owned station announced the death on its 10:00 p.m. news on Monday. “The man who was the subject of a “Five On Your Side” investigation scheduled to air tonight has been found dead in his Town and Country home,” read KSDK anchor Mike Bush. “Police say Jamie Hart, owner of Castle Rock Remodeling was found this morning. Out of respect for his family and colleagues, details of our story will air at a later time.”

According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Town and Country, MO, police said they found no signs of foul play and the St. Louis Medical Examiner’s office said Hart didn’t die of a heart attack and had no signs of trauma on his body.

Two years ago Hart, 40, lost a suit he brought against the Better Business Bureau of Greater St. Louis for libel and tortious interference, claiming the “BBB manipulated its standards, treated it differently than other business, and insincerely and maliciously gave it a “C” rating, rather than the higher rating it claims it deserved.”

The station wouldn’t comment on the story’s content. A station spokesperson referred TVSpy to the on-air statement and added the report would be aired sometime in the future.

MSNBC’s Chris Hayes Thanks KTVI’s Chris Hayes For Fielding Misdirected Tweets

A funny moment on MSNBC’s “All In” Tuesday night: Chris Hayes thanked KTVI investigative reporter Chris Hayes for his patience fielding tweets intended for the MSNBC host (video above).

“By all accounts, he’s an intrepid reporter,” Hayes said. “…Night after night he’s bombarded on Twitter by people who think that they’re interacting with this show. And the thing is, he couldn’t be nicer to them!”

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

Nichole Berlie to Join KSDK as Anchor

TVSpy has confirmed, KSDK is adding Nichole Berlie as an anchor and reporter beginning September 9.

Berlie comes to the St. Louis NBC affiliate from KETV in Omaha, NE, where she is the weekday morning anchor. She has also worked in Evansville, IN.

On her facebook page Berlie told viewers, ” It’s kind of a Melancholy Monday. It’s the start of my last week at KETV. I’ll save my tears for Friday…”

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]

Sharon Stevens Says Goodbye to KSDK

After 20 years at KSDK, education reporter Sharon Stevens is leaving the St. Louis NBC affiliate.

Stevens has served as a mentor to many in the industry, including WCAU news director Anzio Williams, who called her “an inspiration to so many.” In honor of her last day, St. Louis mayor Francis Slay designated July 10, 2013 “Sharon Stevens Day.”

Ashley Yarchin Leaves KSDK

KSDK said goodbye to reporter Ashley Yarchin over the weekend.

In early June, she announced on her facebook page she was leaving the St. Louis NBC affiliate, “I’m moving to NYC late this summer…going back to school to get my master’s in art history and the art market from Christie’s Auction House!”

Weekend anchor Kelly Jackson said goodbye to Yarchin at the end of Saturday’s 10:00pm news. “We’re going to miss her,” Jackson said  “But Ashley, we wish you all the best and know you’ll knock ‘em dead in the Big Apple.”

Yarchin started working at KSDK in 2009.

[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

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