Monday, August 26, 2013

Exclusive: Ex-KTVU ND, Chapuis, Was Told By KTVU MGT To Fire Senior Staffers; Newsroom Angst Over Fired Asiana Personnel


A source close to KTVU tells me, exclusively.

*Ed Chapuis: The former News Director, according to my Insider, ,has been telling people that he was ordered to fire "higher-paid, senior people without contracts" (Chapuis was not present during the Asiana affair, having long been let go months earlier.)

Chapuis refused, said the source, because supposedly, he, (Chapuis), regarded these staffers as the "best in the business." But GM, Tom Raponi wanted them gone so he could hire "easy-to-manipulate" kids at cheaper prices.

SO they fired Chapuis. (On his way to a new gig in Sacramento.)
And brought in a new ND, the current person, Lee Rosenthal, "TO DO THE EXECUTIONER'S WORK."

*The latest on the Asiana NameGate affair:
From my sources: There's still considerable angst in the newsroom over the four fired staffers let go by management last month. Moreover, according to my chief source, those let go were made to be scapegoats.
Figure it out.  Michelle Toy, the ex-Managing Editor and/or Tori Campbell, the veteran news anchor who read the fake names.
*Rich Lieberman 415 Media Exclusive
*Follow me on Twitter



  1. Pretty good inside shit, Rich. It must be very weird if you are working for KTVU right now..

  2. Anyone want to take a bet on whether the 4 people dumped last month each made more than the person who is still working there? Didn't think so.

    1. I would take that bet.

  3. Post Asiana, I wonder what Raponi's plans are for senior staffers now? Asiana wiped out several senior staffers all at once. In hindsight, I guess he could have just waited for fate to take its course.

  4. So who are the big, high-paid people, Ed was forced to force out?

  5. Had an absolutely fascinating call on Saturday evening from a telephone survey individual who I almost dispatched immediately. But something in his voice sounded real. So I asked him who the client was? He couldn't say. OK then what's the topic? "It's about opinions on local TV news." After all of the appropriate questions on "Am I employed, or do I have close family members in the media, etc." (I'm NOT), we dove into what turned out to be a real survey that beat around the bush on the topic of local news for minutes before it became very clear who the client was:

    The client was most certainly KTVU.

    The long list of questions ultimately came to the money shot: Did this recent fake pilot name incident (that I had volunteered knowledge of earlier) affect your faith in the integrity of local news on KTVU?

    Wow, what an opportunity to express my disdain (and waning confidence in) for the return of Rip n' Read journalism.

    (Admittedly as a college radio newsman with a 6 AM newscast, I admit to doing exactly that - - reading live from the printout). But this is 2013. And reading live from a printout almost got me fired, even back in the old days.

    Anyone else hear of this survey???

    Anyway, tough times for still the best news organization in the Bay Area...

    1. > Did this recent fake pilot name incident ...
      > affect your faith in the integrity of local
      > news on KTVU?

      This is why I hate to take these surveys--my well-considered, somewhat complex answers flummox their black-and-white thinking. My honest answer would be "no," and they'd go away happy, but what it really means is no because coming from that background I *already* had no faith in the integrity of local news on KTVU or any other outlet.

      But there's no room for an opinion like that on their form. That's the problem with consultant BS--they only find what they are looking for. Anything that falls between the cracks isn't recorded or tracked. Worthless information, but they'll be doing these things till the earth spins into the sun.

  6. Vague report, am I to assume that the 4 terminated were in effect condemned prior to the crash coverage rich?

    Also, the media news cycle has changed with the technological advancements, that's a given. It a plug n play industry with the internet and the once trusted/vetted news wire stories are endangered. Tortuous vs. the Hare. How much negative influence do you attribute to remote ownership by large corporations as apposed to the locally owned/operated model that we once enjoyed?

  7. It almost makes me think differently about Special Ed....Cox uses thugs and no talent middle management bullies to scare the by intimidation...a Cox SOP for their "managers".
    Raponi is a despicable douchebag....known for labor violations of threatening KICU employees who would want to unionize...evn though both KICU 36 and KTVU 2 are in the same building....KICU people are at a lower pay grade unless they were grandfathered in from 2....

  8. "There's still considerable angst in the newsroom over the four fired staffers let go by management last month. Moreover, according to my chief source, those let go were made to be scapegoats."

    Rich, how much longer are you going to keep repeating the same rumors and pretend it's news?

    1. Here's a hint for Lieberman; when you're writing about how people feel, it's not news. It's unverified gossip.

  9. To you people who thought Lieberman was beating a dead horse: STUFF IT. You were probably working for KTVU or a management type in tech who practices hiring cheap labor and finding those who make too much or cost too much as a "bad fit." Don't you worry, you heartless and gutless cretins. What goes around comes around. Your day will come soon.

    Bravo Lieberman! And screw you naysayers!

    1. When you watch a Rose Bowl parade, they usually comment that some people actually wait a couple days for the parade to come along. We now have a glimpse of the inner workings, of what makes them tic.


    2. You're eating dead horse meat. Enjoy!

    3. I beg to differ, Miss Anon. In what newsroom is there not employee angst over management decisions? This story has far exceeded its sell by date, unless during a "blogger's block" out of desperation one needs to revisit the tired details.

      Slow news day? No gossip through the grapevine? Asiana to the rescue.

    4. This story is as tired as Lieberman's Bay Bridge "expose."

  10. hah. little easier to see now.

    Interesting choice of words "just a ruse" are...Flow chart is Rosenthal to Toy to the anchor with a loop from the NTSB's "summer intern" back to Rosenthal. hah!

    way too much on the line to leave it to chance.

  11. Screw the naysayers, Rich!
    They're all probably KTVU kiss-assers....or KGO radio kiss-assers still upset that you've pulled back the curtain on their loser station.

    This KTVU story is still very much alive! I have friends working in other news shops around the country (LA, Philly, San Diego, Boston and Kansas City) who are still interested in this fiasco! They all either used to work in the Bay Area....know people such as myself still working here...aspire to work here...or are just Local News junkies.

    Keep it up!

  12. I am sure there is "angst" in that newsroom. They fired one guy who wasn't even involved in the whole mess over a Tweet and they kept someone who was clearly involved in the name blunder. You think they are happy over there? I doubt it. Bad message from management which basically told the employees we don't have your back and you're simply pawns in our game. For those who are pissed off there is no way to get back at them. Perhaps if they do some sort of employee survey but who in their right mind would rip their bosses on one of those given what happened. They'd probably get shit canned too.

  13. Wow, employees feeling angst...

    And that's supposed to be news?
    Employees EVERYWHERE are feeling angst.