STATION ATTEMPTS TO MUTE OUTRAGE OVER CONTROVERSIAL STAFFING MOVE
The saga surrounding South Carolina news anchor Ben Hoover just won’t quit …
Brief recap: Last week, Hoover announced on social media that his employer, WIS TV 10 (NBC – Columbia, S.C.), had abruptly decided not to renew his contract – and that his last day on the air would be July 4. The back story? Hoover had been looking for a new position (with the station’s blessing) – but when the search fell through WIS general manager Donita Todd allegedly pulled the rug out from under him.
What really happened? It’s unclear at this point … although the result has been a rapidly expanding public relations nightmare for the station over what is widely perceived to be the unjustified termination of a popular anchor.
How is WIS dealing with this PR nightmare?
Easy: Censoring its viewers … and putting the fear of God into Hoover’s ex-colleagues over leaks.
“The WIS managers are using software that blocks curse words to block Ben Hoover,” a source close to the station tells FITS. “Any and all comments coming into the station on the Facebook page or the website, the comments are blocked automatically.”
The source adds that the block was briefly lifted, which resulted in comments about Hoover “flooding” the site.
At that point the block was quickly reinstated …
In addition to censoring the viewpoints of its readers (which raises a host of larger questions), sources tell us Todd is cracking down on leaks from employees in the wake of the scandal.
Specifically, she has mandated that WIS employees turn off their cellphones during meetings in which Hoover’s situation is discussed to prevent “any leaks about the situation.’
WIS is owned by Raycom, the parent company to more than four dozen local television stations. In fact sources tell FITS Raycom’s vice president Don Richards is visiting the station this week, although it’s unclear whether his trip has anything to do with the Hoover fiasco.
Despite Hoover’s local popularity, this website hasn’t joined the hand-wringing on his behalf – although in fairness that’s mostly due to the pro-establishment, anti-taxpayer bent of his former employer.
“The station is nothing but a rolling commercial for South Carolina’s failed status quo,” we wrote earlier this week. “In other words its leaders believe every government program is ‘good,’ any cut to government is ‘bad’ and any statement handed down from a pandering politician like Nikki Haley or Lindsey Graham should be taken as gospel.”
Oh, and unlike this website … they censor you when you try to respond disapprovingly to their pablum.