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William1111

WTAE Anchor under fire for Facebook post

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http://www.adweek.com/tvspy/wtae-anchor-accused-of-racist-facebook-posts/166620

 

Wendy Bell, anchor of Hearst owned WTAE in Pittsburgh made an opinion post to her Facebook page Monday morning regarding a recent shooting, referring to the perpetrators as "young black men", which made some people steamed up enough to create a Facebook page demanding her firing.

 

Do you think Hearst will fire her? Or will they just give her a slap on the wrist?

(or take the BriWi approach, and suspend her for 6 months and demote her to a lower position)

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Something is going to happen because the story is becoming bigger now. The station not saying anything isn't going to last long. Hearst might step in and do something because it looks very bad for them if they don't. I don't think she should be fired but I do think they should demote her. She anchors the 5-6:30 pm block and 11 pm. They should bring back Michelle Wright ( I hope thats her name) from the mornings (she use to anchor the 6) to do the 5 and 11 and Sally Wiggins to do the 6 and put Wendy at noon or moved her to weekends. A lot of people are very upset and rightfully so. I was never a big fan of her anyway.

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While I don't necessarily disagree with Mrs. Bell, you shouldn't post controversial opinions like that if you're a journalist, that's just not professional for that line of work.. period.

 

Don't get me wrong, *some* opinions are fine for talent to publicly post, such as non-controversial topics that aren't newsworthy, like "I don't like Starbucks coffee, it's too bitter".

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I know what I'm about to say will sound rough here bear with me as I'm going to try phrase it correctly.

 

I really want to go off about it but I can't because I see her rational here. I read the original comments via the article shared.

 

I'm going to say something I know I'm get nailed on but Wendy wasn't racist but she quoted the wrong media trope about mass shooting. Now I'll admit when I heard mass shooting I first thought white people and That is so wrong it is inexcusable.

 

Now I will knock her on this and many people do it as well including myself on this, She fell for using media tropes that we use rightly or wrongly to quickly paint something to the audience. The problem with tropes is sometimes they don't fit for the situation and could be absolutely wrong.

 

Now, One thing I do agree with how people are reacting to it isHow she said it was dumb and shouldn't be said by your lead anchor of your station, Ever. Yes, you report the news but there is expectation that you look at all sides of a story at the desk when you are a lead anchor. The problem is there is perceived bias in her comment and that is not good for WTAE in a tight market like Pittsburgh.

 

So sorry, I don't see this as she said a racial comment but more she went and blurted the wrong media trope that we have in our culture that could end up being absolutely wrong. But here the thing The Media uses these tropes every day so saying "Wendy take a seat for a bit" is pretty much saying we as the media profile and use tropes all the time but we are going to suspend her to send a message that we really don't believe in.

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Yes she was NOT racist at all. She was just writing what was on TV. Black shooters. Plain and simple. They should not demote her because she is extremely talented and everybody adores her. It would destroy WTAE's evening news.

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Two week suspension and on-air apology should be sufficient.

 

Yeah, that'll be good. Maybe a month would be too harsh.

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From the looks of it, she's probably not going to get suspended. She issued an apology on Facebook. It looks like she got a slap on the wrist.

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More and more anchors and reporters are getting facebook Indemnification clauses as part of their contracts.

 

This is exactly why.

 

If you are going to require that staff post to social media sites as part of the job, then you better be careful about suspending or firing a person because of "public outrage" over a posting.

 

People get bent out of shape "just because" nowadays, and air staff being fired over such nonsense will land a station in court real quickly in most states.

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Eat, you made a ton of sense there.

 

I don't know about WTAE, but I would def. assume most stations probably have a social media manager that does check up on the accounts of their staff as part of their job duties.

 

An apology in this case is sufficient and more than likely probably some training will happen for all the staffers about social media.

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http://www.adweek.com/tvspy/wtae-anchor-accused-of-racist-facebook-posts/166620

 

Wendy Bell, anchor of Hearst owned WTAE in Pittsburgh made an opinion post to her Facebook page Monday morning regarding a recent shooting, referring to the perpetrators as "young black men", which made some people steamed up enough to create a Facebook page demanding her firing.

 

Do you think Hearst will fire her? Or will they just give her a slap on the wrist?

(or take the BriWi approach, and suspend her for 6 months and demote her to a lower position)

 

I remember on another site ppl were talking about somebody in management had issues with on-air personality. So the story goes that this person in management would talk so badly about the on-air talent at this Hearst station. Somebody's comment was "Hearst is like the Catholic Church where everything is swept under the rug" Not sure how true that's.

From the looks of it, she's probably not going to get suspended. She issued an apology on Facebook. It looks like she got a slap on the wrist.

 

http://www.ftvlive.com/todays-news/2016/3/24/wendy-bell-you-pissed-off-half-of-pittsburgh-whats-next

 

http://www.ftvlive.com/todays-news/2016/3/25/wtae-finally-addresses-bells-comment-in-on-air-editorial

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It took WTAE 2 days to say something... This is something different because most stations like to say something right when it happen to kind of distance it way from the situation. I guess its true that they really like Wendy Bell. Come to find out, this is her second time on air that she said some insensitive remarks regarding African American. I remember this too but in that instance, I just thought she misspoke trying to do a joke. I will say I don't think she should be fired but need to be serverly reprimanded. But I'll wait until the next sweep period to see if it effects the rating. I think if it does, that when change will happen.

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That GM looked INCREDIBLY uncomfortable delivering the station's apology.

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That GM looked INCREDIBLY uncomfortable delivering the station's apology.

 

And probably the last time anyone with the station say to Wendy Bell, "Hey Wendy, Write something that will get people talking."

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That GM looked INCREDIBLY uncomfortable delivering the station's apology.

 

Not to mention it looks like it was thrown together at the last second, which is interesting since the "scandal" was a few days old at that point. You'd think someone working in a TV station might be able to find someone to coach him on how to not sound scripted. You can also hear the HVAC system running so they didn't even bother to kill that while they taped this.

 

Also, with a name like Charles W. Wolfertz III, you're pretty much destined from birth to be a TV station GM.

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Also, with a name like Charles W. Wolfertz III, you're pretty much destined from birth to be a TV station GM.

 

 

I'm slightly curious who makes up WTAE's "Editorial Board"? I'm guessing it's the GM, ND and Assistand ND.

 

I wonder where they filmed this. Wouldn't the studio have a silent HVAC system?

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I think it was shot quickly and on the sly...away from others. 2 takes maximum and get it over with.

 

Nobody wanted to be a part of that...and management didn't want to ask for volunteers.

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I'm slightly curious who makes up WTAE's "Editorial Board"? I'm guessing it's the GM, ND and Assistand ND.

 

I wonder where they filmed this. Wouldn't the studio have a silent HVAC system?

 

Had to be in front of something like a greenscreen on a spare set meant for commercial shoots where the mechanical systems are easily bled out by CALM-violating selling music.

 

And these days an 'editorial board' seems to be made up on the spot of just top people in management. Unless you're like WTOC and will stubbornly have editorials until the bitter end, this isn't the 80's any longer and it's rare when anyone in management has to come on-screen. Compare that stiff delivery to the editorials of the past on other stations, and you know management rarely gets on-camera training unless they insist on staying fresh.

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Had to be in front of something like a greenscreen on a spare set meant for commercial shoots where the mechanical systems are easily bled out by CALM-violating selling music.

 

And these days an 'editorial board' seems to be made up on the spot of just top people in management. Unless you're like WTOC and will stubbornly have editorials until the bitter end, this isn't the 80's any longer and it's rare when anyone in management has to come on-screen. Compare that stiff delivery to the editorials of the past on other stations, and you know management rarely gets on-camera training unless they insist on staying fresh.

 

Interestingly, WTAE does these editorial segments now all the time, and they are always hosted by the GM.

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Had to be in front of something like a greenscreen on a spare set meant for commercial shoots where the mechanical systems are easily bled out by CALM-violating selling music.

 

And these days an 'editorial board' seems to be made up on the spot of just top people in management. Unless you're like WTOC and will stubbornly have editorials until the bitter end, this isn't the 80's any longer and it's rare when anyone in management has to come on-screen. Compare that stiff delivery to the editorials of the past on other stations, and you know management rarely gets on-camera training unless they insist on staying fresh.

 

Plus I would add that there are no longer any true "locals" in the station Management anymore. Just a bunch of transplants that have no real clue about local issues.

I can only think of one TV station in Ca. that does any type of editorial and that is KSBW-8 in Salinas.

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FTVLive is reporting that she was fired and it came direct from corporate.

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Our Hearst-owned station (WMTW) had editorials from the President/GM from 2012-2015. WCSH did editorials until the editorial director (Fred Nutter) retired in 2009. Sinclair-owned WGME has "Behind the Headlines" but no local editorials.

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