While the mood is somber around the Jack London Square studios of KTVU over the firing of some veteran news staffers, a sense of relief, albeit temporary, permeates the station.
For one thing, Wednesday's mini-bloodbath, however dreadful for those who got the hook, was not shocking for many.
"We're definitely down," a longtime air talent told me. Although the word of the dismissals was announced by News Director, Lee Rosenthal, rumors started fast and furious at the Oakland Fox affiliate. Even some of my most dependable insiders were reluctant to talk, on or off the record.
I got word midday about the developments and tried to gauge reaction and what's in store for the future.
QUICK BULLET POINTS---
1. Cox sent its own media attorney to Oakland to head the internal investigation. Ever mindful of its image and brand, which has taken a beating over the Asiana Airline name gaffe, Cox was adamant that it got to the bottom of the affair.
2. An e-mail that made its way to the newsroom the day of the gaffe, was seen by 4-5 people, (Brad Belstock, one of the staffers fired, was not a part of the gaffe, but his tweet, "Oh Shit", immediately after it was read, was let go because he violated station social-media policy.)
3. Cox and upper management suits at KTVU have not completed the investigation. The matter is not closed. Keep in mind that this is the worst mistake that has ever happened at KTVU, (duh!); it's a matter so stark and disturbing, the possibility of more firings is likely.
4. ND, Rosenthal, is safe for now, (he's only been here barely 3 months), but his much-ballyhooed PR release only a few days after the crash, left many disgusted and added to the embarrassment --don't think Cox high-ups were too pleased with this sheet.
5. Tori Campbell, who read the dreaded script, is also safe and is most likely spared. For one, she recently re-signed a contract extension, (for fairly decent money), and letting her go would be fraught with legal issues and financial matters.
By the way, Campbell is not on the air this week--she's on vacation, (which has nothing to do with Namegate--the vacation was planned months ago.) Probably good timing.
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