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Posts Tagged ‘Larry Conners’

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

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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]

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

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

KMOV’s Larry Conners Off Air After IRS Allegations

Larry Conners,the KMOV anchor who said on facebook the IRS targeted him after an interview with President Obama last year, is off the air until further notice.

“He’s not suspended. We just all thought it made sense (for him) to take a few days off,” Sean McLaughlin, news director for the St. Louis CBS affiliate, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “We take this very seriously, and we don’t expect this to drag on. We’re still looking into the situation and weighing our options.”

>UPDATE: Conners’ attorney told TVSpy in a statement, “As the attorney for Larry Conners, I am constrained to advise you that he is barred by corporate from making statements, posting on Facebook, or participating in interviews on the IRS issue. That is the only reason for his silence.” Read more

KMOV’s Larry Conners: IRS Issues Began Before 2012 Interview With President Obama

KMOV anchor Larry Conners, who claimed he was targeted by the IRS after he pressed President Obama on government spending during a 2012 interview, walked back his allegation on the St. Louis CBS affiliate’s 5 p.m. newscast Tuesday.

“First, I need to state those were my personal views, not those of KMOV-TV,” Conners said (video above). “Second, to be fair, I should disclose that my issues with the IRS preceded that interview by several years. As a journalist I understand the importance of keeping personal matters separate from my professional work — sometimes you have to do that retain your independence as a newsman. Those lines might have been unintentionally crossed yesterday by my [Facebook] post.”

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports Conners and his wife owe more than $85,000 in back taxes.

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