Cries, albeit anonymously, for doing the right thing and resign have suddenly besieged KTVU News Director, Lee Rosenthal. It's not just in and around the building in Jack London Square but around the offices of the TV News industry. Why?
Because instead of a move-forward, pro-active campaign of transparency on Namegate, Rosenthal has been busy trying to quell the storm, aided and abetted by his cover-up in chief, GM, Tom Raponi. Both GM and ND, in full CYA-mode for the corporate suits in Atlanta, have tried to spin an oasis of contrition, reaching out to the Asian-American Journalists people. It's one thing to try to pacify people with a direct interest in the ToriGaffe, but sorry, your kissy-poo to the Asian journalists rings hollow when none of your main people speak about the crime and in fact, try to have the now, infamous, video pulled from the Internet. Good Luck with that.
Rosenthal, from all accounts a good guy, might be losing the newsroom. He's only been here, from Indy, just a few months, and already has major fingerprints in destroying the best news org. in town. This may sound ridiculous: Remember Watergate? It wasn't the burglary--it was the cover-up. History lessons at KTVU might be in order.
Rosenthal may be deft at getting social-media traction for his company but he has third-rate ethics and a playbook that doesn't work in 21st Century screw-ups. Especially one that is the WORST mistake in local TV News history. Innocuous apologies and cower-and-hide campaigns will not work nor will half-baked reaching-out missions to the AAJA. It all requires more thought and preparation and full acts of contrition that are heavy-lifting and arduous but might be steps on the road to redemption.
Rosenthal hasn't been helped by GM, Raponi, whose been late to the game and like his pesky ND, hasn't said a word publically. What can they do? They could have done a hell of a lot more--and their foolhardy attempt to use a loophole to remove the evidence makes them look like a bunch of narcissistic fools.
The Cox Family is outraged over all of this. In due time, something is supposedly coming down the pike and it will not be pretty. To be more precise, listen to an Insider close to the KTVU goings-on: "When the boss loses the support and confidence of the rank and file he's DONE--It's over."
*Follow me on Twitter