The KTVU Namegate affair has taken a dramatic turn.
Several insiders in the know have told me that the Asiana Airliner pilot-name brouhaha might very well have been perpetrated by individuals from the local SF-TV competition. Or from a rogue KTVU staffer bent on revenge!
Even with the disclosure that an NTSB intern has been identified and relieved of his duties, the embarrassing incident still made it past KTVU news personnel on duty at the time of the Noon News newscast last Friday.
1) The internal investigation is being run by Cox Atlanta. The Cox family does NOT like controversy, or to be embarrassed. This is a family owned company; there are NO stockholders. The family holds its pride close. Their internal security team usually consists of retired FBI and Secret Service. As one of America's richest families, they protect their own interests.
2) NO ONE at KTVU is safe. If COX feels management is lax, the GM or ND could be gone.
3) Probably 4 or 5 employees in the newsroom "touched" the story before air. They include the assignment desk; a writer; a producer; a graphic artist; and the anchor. It's possible the executive producer and/or news director saw it, too. That's a LOT of eyes missing the real story! All could be fired.
4) A leading candidate for the prank...other TV stations in the market. KTVU made LOTS of enemies with its over-the-top, self-serving promo touting its coverage of the plane crash (which WAS very good). But in doing so, they rubbed noses in the dirt at KGO, KPIX, KRON and KNTV. Any p-o'd person at one of those stations could have pulled the prank.
5) Whoever did this has insider knowledge of the "flow" of the KTVU newsroom (which is typical of any TV newsroom). The fact that the information came in as breaking news, so close to news time, tells you that the perpetrator knew the story might be rushed to air, with only a cursory review of the "facts!". The person who did this leveraged their knowledge of how a newsroom works on deadline. Well played.
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