Posted by Cedarburg Chuck on April 04, 2012 at 23:15:04:
// Two more local television stations Wednesday confirmed that their news employes signed petitions to recall Gov. Scott Walker. The stations came forward in the wake of an admission on the WTMJ-TV (Channel 4) news Tuesday night that as many as six broadcast employees at WTMJ had signed the petition.
Steve Wexler, vice president of radio and TV for Journal Broadcast Group, would not reveal the names of the personnel in question. But WTMJ-AM (620) sports show host and reporter Trenni Kusnierek confirmed that she had signed a petition.
On Wednesday, WISN-TV (Channel 12) confirmed that three photojournalists came forward in the wake of the WTMJ-TV report. The matter "is being dealt with internally," said WISN-TV president and general manager Jan Wade.
Overt political activity, such as signing the petitions, is usually prohibited by news organizations because it creates mistrust in the objectivity of their news coverage.
"We have a station policy which prohibits it," said Wade. "In addition, as journalists, our folks know that they must remain totally unbiased."
WITI-TV (Channel 6) also confirmed that one of its photojournalists signed the petition and was being reassigned. Chuck Steinmetz, station president and general manager, said the person came forward last month after employees were reminded of station policy.
"From that day forward until he leaves, the station they are not going to be allowed to cover anything related to Scott Walker," said Steinmetz.
Journal Broadcast Group is owned by the owner of the Journal Sentinel.
WDJT-TV (Channel 58) did not respond to questions about its employees. //
/// WISN-AM (1130) talk show host Mark Belling said he will name members of the WTMJ news department who signed a petition to recall governor Scott Walker.
Belling's show is on from 3 to 6 p.m. You can listen to its on line stream here.
Belling supplied two names in an email. I have not verified one and will not print it here.
But WTMJ-AM (620) sports reporter and host Trenni Kusnierek confirmed in an email that she did sign the petition. She also revealed doing so on Twitter. Bellling said WTMJ's investigation occurred after he named one of the staffers on his show last Friday.
"I am not involved in our news reporting," said Kusnierek, "and am moving on to baseball season."
Earlier Wednesday Steve Wexler, vice president of radio and TV operations for Journal Broadcast Group, said he would not reveal the names calling it a personnel matter.
"That's the management call we made," said Wexler. "In most of these cases, the names would be unrecognizable. Wexler spoke on Charlie Sykes' show on WTMJ-AM (620), which is owned by Journal Broadcast Group, which also owns WTMJ-TV (Channel 4).
A broadcast group affiliate also owns the Journal Sentinel.
News that staffers signed the petitions was announced on Tuesday's WTMJ-TV newscast. ///
/ Steve Wexler, vice president of radio and TV operations for Journal Broadcast Group, said he would not reveal names of radio and TV news personnel who signed petitions for the recall of Gov. Scott Walker because they were a personnel matter.
"That's the management call we made," said Wexler. "In most of these cases, the names would be unrecognizable."
Wexler spoke on Charlie Sykes' show on WTMJ-AM (620), which is owned by Journal Broadcast Group, which also owns WTMJ-TV (Channel 4).
News that staffers signed the petitions was announced on Tuesday's WTMJ-TV newscast.
"We're literally talking about two or three people who touch our news product ... compared to several hundred folks who work here," Wexler said on Sykes' show. Five or six employes were involved, he said.
Sykes argued that not naming names "cast a shadow on everybody."
He said that journalists were public figures, and the audience had a right to know about some news people who were not objective about this topic.
Wexler said "I get that and struggled with that," but that he had to "fall ... on the employee issue."
The broadcast group's parent company also owns the Journal Sentinel. /
//// Journal Broadcast Group executive Steve Wexler will discuss news staffers signing petitions to recall Gov. Walker. The discussion will take place on WTMJ-AM (620) at 11:07 a.m. on the Charlie Sykes show.
Sykes announced the appearance on his Twitter account.
See my earlier blog item about this here.
You can see the complete statement read on the WTMJ-TV (Channel 4) news about the topic here.
And you can stream the discussion on WTMJ-AM here. ////
)) Journal Broadcast Group employees involved in newsgathering signed petitions to recall Gov. Scott Walker, anchors Carole Meekins and Mike Jacobs announced during Tuesday's 6 p.m. WTMJ-TV (Channel 4) newscast.
Four employees worked for WTMJ-AM and one worked on the television side, the anchors announced. No names were released.
WTMJ "wants to reassure you, our viewers, management is taking measures to make sure all our reporting is fair and balanced. And to make sure something like this does not happen again," read Meekins.
According to Steve Wexler, vice president of radio and TV operations for Journal Broadcast Group: "We have always asked people in our news departments not to be publicly involved in any political causes, not just this particular issue. We've used this opportunity to reiterate that view to our staff." ((
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