WIS Censoring Criticism In Wake Of Anchor’s Departure

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 –…


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.’

Wow …

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.

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Squishy123 July 9, 2014 at 2:06 pm

“Donita”, that sort of has a Nazi bitch ring to it doesn’t it?

aikencounty July 9, 2014 at 9:29 pm

Jack boots and a riding crop!

Herr Boobenstein July 9, 2014 at 9:31 pm

“Donita the Dominatrix”

CNSYD July 9, 2014 at 2:13 pm

WIS can block whatever incoming commentary it so desires. If WIS does not want to hear from its “customers”, that is their prerogative. WIS can instruct its employees about cell phone usage (particularly if WIS owns the phones) on company property (and elsewhere if WIS owns the phones). WIS can hire and fire whomever they please (within the bounds of the law of course). It is the free market. Nothing to see here.

Will Folks aka Sic July 9, 2014 at 2:38 pm

We never said they didn’t have that right. We are calling them pussies, though. ;)

easterndumbfuckastan July 9, 2014 at 2:45 pm

Is a “media company” that has a state pension fund as it’s primary investor and only source of financing truly a free market organization?

Mike at the Beach July 9, 2014 at 5:16 pm

Zackly- it’s the old “just because you CAN do something, doesn’t mean you SHOULD.”

Columbia News Hack July 13, 2014 at 7:42 pm

Donita Todd is a loathsome example of a human being. I also heard the fired the sports guy with cancer. I hope they send out a press release when they fire her ass. I’ll lay the eggs to pelt her car with as she pulls out onto Gervais St. The fucking bitch. The only reason Don Richards is coming is to lick the ass of JT Gandolfo and Jim Hudson so they won’t pull their insipid Kia ads.

Judi Gatson Secret Lover Steve July 9, 2014 at 2:18 pm

CNSYD, true. Although it does speak volumes about how they choose to run their business. One is always free to ignore their customers. Although, I submit, they they would do so at their peril. Besides, isn’t the manager Donita Turd?

Sandy July 9, 2014 at 10:19 pm

no her name is DUH-Nita

HD July 9, 2014 at 2:27 pm

Folks got something right – he doesn’t censor us when we “respond disapprovingly to [his] pablum.”

Will Folks aka Sic July 9, 2014 at 2:39 pm

Blind hogs and acorns, friend.

CorruptionInColumbia July 9, 2014 at 2:28 pm

Donita (Butch) Todd frequently solicits “your perspective” at the end of those annoying “Perspective” segments she does, but in reality she doesn’t give a flying shit about anyone else’s opinion. I hope WIS does what they should have done years ago and fires this hag.

Even though it was done on a corporate level, their transition to Fecebook for commenting was another form of censorship which Butch embraced with both arms.

CorruptionInColumbia July 9, 2014 at 2:30 pm


RogueElephant July 9, 2014 at 3:44 pm

C/C I don’t know if you meant to but you inadvertently made a great statement : Fecebook—– fecesbook. Cool The amount of time wasted on facebook is beyond comprehension. Lots of businesses are complaining and worse about it.

Yep! July 9, 2014 at 6:01 pm

When cell phones started becoming common place at my business, the lost productivity was driving me bonkers. ]

Then I got lucky and relocated to a steel framed building…just the move saved me thousands because cell phones no longer worked inside. If I ever move again, I’m buying one of those boxes that disrupt cell signals in a certain radius.

SCBlues July 9, 2014 at 7:26 pm

CIC – I know nothing about this whole fiasco and have nothing to say about it. But I do always enjoy your comments – “doesn’t give a flying shit” gave me quite a chuckle. You know we do not always agree – but I do so enjoy your perspectives . . .

CorruptionInColumbia July 10, 2014 at 2:45 pm

Thank You, SC Blues! Glad you enjoyed.

Deo Vindice SC July 9, 2014 at 8:04 pm

You are right. I think she even made her play about Carter Strange being stomped by 5 black men. That it wasn’t a mob. I even was booted from WIS about my comments. Her Tits and mouth, FUCK IT. Who cares for WIS anymore ? Eat shit WIS !

Brick Tamland July 9, 2014 at 10:16 pm

There was that explosive diarrhea incident a few months ago where Donita gave the entire station a flying shit, literally. I was there and it nasty and smelly, that’s my perspective what’s yours?

“I read somewhere their periods attract bears. Bears can smell the menstruation.”

Tired and Retired July 9, 2014 at 2:30 pm

I sat through an 11:OO PM newscast this week to see how it would go without the interaction of Ben and Judi. Boring.

Sandy July 9, 2014 at 10:17 pm

and Judi looked down and never smiled

Brick Tamland July 9, 2014 at 2:36 pm

Donita (known around the station as Don’t Eat Her (seriously it’s gross)) is locking everyone in the basement that leaks information. It’s nice to have some friends down here though. Ooops gotta run hear someone coming down the steps and I have to get my iPhone back in my ass before I get caught.

“I pooped a tape recorder.”

a face in the crowd July 9, 2014 at 2:43 pm

A news agency that censors feedback is not a news agency. It is a propaganda firm.

a face in the crowd July 9, 2014 at 2:53 pm

Speaking of censorship, have you looked into allegations by the good folks at Shakin’ the Southland, a Clemson athletics site that was not afraid to express criticism, that the Clemson athletic department pressured SB Nation into getting rid of them, thereby eliminating the site? See the Shakin’ the Southland Facebook page.

Will Folks aka Sic July 9, 2014 at 3:36 pm

No way! I loved that site. They’re gone???

a face in the crowd July 9, 2014 at 3:38 pm

So it appears . . .

Jack's tiger tail July 9, 2014 at 3:59 pm

They accused the CU athletic admin of pressuring the blog owners into being fired. They didn’t toe the line. This would be a good story.

Sandy Burglar July 9, 2014 at 2:54 pm

Donita Todd is shockingly incompetent, her “Perspective” segments are laughably absurd and her complete mishandling of the Hoover debacle should come as a surprise to no one. WIS is a shell of what it once was and she is largely to blame. Maybe Don Richards will see the carnage and chaos, come to his senses and dump Donita Todd.

Glass half full July 9, 2014 at 3:03 pm

“Donita Todd is shockingly incompetent”

Yeah, but she has big tits.

aikencounty July 9, 2014 at 9:28 pm

I would like to gaze upon those large orbs!

TontoBubbaGoldstein July 9, 2014 at 10:34 pm

Ummm…TBG would pick up a paper bag from the grocery store, first. Double or triple bag it to be safe.

Squishy123 July 10, 2014 at 9:03 am

Most would choose a plastic bag.

you know me July 11, 2014 at 3:47 pm

Yeah, cause she’s fat.

Smirks July 9, 2014 at 2:55 pm

Nothing says panic quite like draconian censorship. Perhaps Donita’s own job is on the line?

easterndumbfuckastan July 10, 2014 at 8:53 am

We can only hope. Maybe someone can get a video of her doing the “perp walk” to her car with her white box.

easterndumbfuckastan July 10, 2014 at 8:53 am

We can only hope. Maybe someone can get a video of her doing the “perp walk” to her car with her white box.

Yep! July 9, 2014 at 3:02 pm

“Oh, and unlike this website … they censor you when you try to respond disapprovingly to their pablum.”

The #1 redeeming quality of FITS.

Thomas July 9, 2014 at 3:04 pm

Good write up. Keep us informed. It is not like Columbia viewers have options. Watching JR Berry’s jowls drop further down his pencil neck and watching Darci Strickland get fatter and fatter is not a plan b. The other stations are filled with metro-sexuals, hookers, and the morbidly obese shamming for a paycheck. Like this author said, corporate media outlets in Columbia are rife with smarmy milquetoast paycheck snatchers. Investigative reporting is dead.

Squishy123 July 9, 2014 at 3:11 pm

So you’ve noticed that Bree Boyce is going back from Miss South Carolina to Miss Plus-Size South Carolina. Hope she saved those fat pants, she’s about a week from fitting back into them.

Sandy July 9, 2014 at 10:22 pm

Squishy – that is a low blow. What does that really have to do with anything?

Squishy123 July 10, 2014 at 9:09 am

Just an observation, she was all over the news flaunting herself around when she lost weight, even on national television. Once her 15 minutes were over she started packing on the pounds. And from the chubby cheeks I’m seeing, I doubt she’s done gaining weight. If she could take it off, which is the difficult part, why can’t she keep it off? Especially if she wants to be a television news anchor. Low blow or not, when is the last time you saw a 200 pound female news anchor?

Sandy July 10, 2014 at 10:08 pm

Well I can speak to that too. I lost 125 pounds. The hard part is NOT taking it off, it is KEEPING it off. You must change your eating habits and your view of food. I have been successful for 4 years but that could all change if I lose sight of where I have been. We do not know what personal issues she has. Let’s not judge her

Squishy123 July 11, 2014 at 1:56 pm

Doesn’t matter I see she’s announced that she’s no longer with WACH. Ratings can only go up.

So what you’re saying is that you can’t eat a dozen KrispyKreme donuts in a sitting if you want to keep weight off?

Columbia News Hack July 13, 2014 at 7:33 pm

WACH fired Bree Boyce

Sandy July 9, 2014 at 10:21 pm

I would rather watch NO news at all than watch WIS. Never again

Donita's Vajaejae July 9, 2014 at 3:07 pm

It does look like the standing order to not report on anything critical on Judi Gatson’s strange, Stevie B is still in place at WIS.

Brick Tamland July 9, 2014 at 3:24 pm

I lost my lamp in you. Could you please give it back.



“I love lamp!”

erneba July 9, 2014 at 3:33 pm

I had a back and forth with Donita Todd at their internet site recently, and I am sure the woman(?) does not get it nor does she intend to lower herself to the average viewer’s level and get it. I don’t get WIS-TV on my cable system, but I do check most of the TV sites in Columbia on a daily basis to see what is going on in Columbia. Donita Todd lowered the product of news at WIS-TV from Bad to Worse.

Dontneeda Todd July 9, 2014 at 4:04 pm

That haggard and arrogant blowhard only wants to hear her own opinion. There is NO room for any other opinions, as they would conflict with her own lapdog mentality.

If it ain’t for pushing the status quo, or pushing her own selfish agenda, there is no room for it at the “new” WIS.

That station has gone to garbage since she took over. The historically tough investigative journalism went bye-bye and was replaced with glowing adulation of her power broker buddies.

Her mentality is typical of most in government these days. She needs to go. The fox can’t guard the henhouse and that mouthy hag can’t manage a television station or personnel.

Columbia needs at least one decent mainstream outlet.

Sandy Burglar July 9, 2014 at 4:36 pm

Did you catch the recent “Perspective” where she whined and sniveled about the “Boss Hogg” mentality of local politicians getting away with crimes, hooliganism and thievery?? Well, I would say, “Donita, why the hell do you think it is that the James Metts, the Lillian McBrides, the Steve Benjamins, the Bobby Harrells and scumbags like them GET AWAY with their Boss Hogg shenanigans right under your nose in your backyard? Why, you ask? Because YOU aren’t doing YOUR JOB as media watchdogs. So instead of polluting the airwaves with you whiny bilge, get reporters out REPORTING and maybe some of that crap would end. I have an idea – get Jody Barr on the beat. Well….never mind. You let him go too.”

ELCID July 9, 2014 at 4:19 pm

If you check its history, this is the way WIS has handled nearly every top firing of on air news casters.

It’s just typical WIS business as usual.
I hope Hoover lands at another SC TV station.
Just like so many of his predecessors.

GrandTango July 9, 2014 at 5:30 pm

The BEST Coverage by Far is here: Several WELL READ stories linked Below. Enjoy:

Why Hoover Debacle Resonates

Lack of diversity at WIS

Possible Racial Slur by Donita Todd

Is there an agenda of bias in the news industry?

Squishy123 July 9, 2014 at 5:35 pm

“The BEST Jerry, the BEST!!!”

GrandTango July 9, 2014 at 5:49 pm

Kenny Bania.

Squishy123 July 9, 2014 at 7:01 pm

Don’t try to start a conversation with me you stupid bitch.

GrandTango July 9, 2014 at 7:15 pm

Forgive me, I mistook you for a human. My bad.

Squishy123 July 9, 2014 at 9:40 pm

Yeah, your bad all right… just like your failing blog.

Mr. Wipple July 9, 2014 at 5:57 pm


If it was paper, I’d wipe my ass with it.

Emily Peterking July 9, 2014 at 6:02 pm

Wonder if BigTransgendered wipes back wipes back to front? Second thought, no, I’m not actually wondering…

Squishy123 July 9, 2014 at 7:01 pm

It’d probably work as well as wax paper.

Correctomundo July 9, 2014 at 9:30 pm

It’s hard to wipe shit off your ass with shit.

Henry MixMaster Lt. Slumlord July 9, 2014 at 5:38 pm

Now the one hit counter will go from zero to one on GrandTango poorly written “blog.”

Pawleys C-Scape user July 9, 2014 at 6:30 pm

And, while we are “thinking” [?] about things, whatever happened to Jean Caughman, a very experienced TV producer, who came to WISTV (for a VERY short time) from a “larger viewing area” [Milwaukee or Minneapolis] and couldn’t make it in the Styx (her hometown Columbia). Perhaps we should give the TV license to WVOC ???? Next time WISTV comes to the mandatory “public comment” time under the FCC rules, maybe EVERYONE (with + or – comments) should exercise their right to comment.

TSIB July 9, 2014 at 6:48 pm

“Censoring.” LMAO!

xx July 9, 2014 at 6:56 pm

Just like men, we women don’t like to look at ugly women on T.V. either. Aside from her inane opinions, she ain’t easy on the eyes. Cover those fat arms, quit buying cheap hair color at Target and Spanx baby!

Greg Prewitt July 9, 2014 at 7:29 pm

Pathetic WIS.

Bible Thumper July 9, 2014 at 7:40 pm

I bet they had to block “Todd” as well as a number of even-toed ungulates.

catrulz July 9, 2014 at 8:47 pm

Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a protest outside the day Don Richards visits WISTV10. Something to think about people, don’t let Donita Todd get away with this.

sandy July 9, 2014 at 10:23 pm

My thought exactly – with signs – Support Ben – Fire Duh-Nita

Patty Cake July 10, 2014 at 11:14 am

There is another ( and supposedly FINAL) protest planned for tomorrow night. (Friday, July 11th @ 10 p.m) Doubt Mr. Richards will still be in town, but I bet he gets word & pics of it. Hope it is well attended.

Calli Sewell Scully July 9, 2014 at 9:13 pm

WIS and their stance regarding this issue disgust me. Honestly, if you can’t take the truth that your viewers are providing via feedback on an issue, HOW do you call yourself a news agency?? Apparently Donita Todd only cares about HER perspective.

aikencounty July 9, 2014 at 9:27 pm

Well, rather than typing Ben Hoover, I would suggest the use of the name, Bend Over.

Peggy Joiner Gaston July 9, 2014 at 11:01 pm

Running scared WIS? Just come out and admit you made a very stupit mistake. I am praying Ben goes to another station and takes his viewers with you. I have already dropped your facebook page and watching WLTX. If enought people doing it you are going to feel it. I think it is terrible that your employees are working now under the fear factor.

Jackie Chiles July 10, 2014 at 12:26 am

The rest of the staff at WIS need to grow some balls and go full scale rebellion mode on Donita. “Oh, you want me to change the curse blocker to remove Ben Hoover? I’m on it.” Following day, 10,500 Ben Hoover comments on site and IT guy is nowhere to be found.

WISUCKS July 10, 2014 at 1:23 am

Make a fakebook page for WIS … let people rant there. Call it something like WISUCKS.

Philip Branton July 10, 2014 at 3:56 pm

….or better yet have that Facebook page divert all posting to THIS website and challenge WIS viewers to show Hoover luv on FITSNEWS..?

then……monitor each day what companies advertise on WIS against those that advertise on Fits and tickle certain webpages …..

… call from Cromer’s peanuts to the Manager of WIS would be priceless if it were “recorded”….!!!

Naturally, then a lawyer will want to go after FITSNEWS and then all Wil Folks has to do is submit this comment as evidence to who started such a stunt………..and I will be sitting there just waiting for any lawyer to “man up”..!!

I’ll have that jury licking “bribes” out of this comment section before the trial ever starts….!!

GrandTango July 10, 2014 at 2:08 am

Remember Howard Beale in the move Network. Is this Columbia’s “I’m mad as H…and I’m not going to take it anymore?” It’s VERY astute handling of the WIS- Hoover fiasco (linked below.)

Very keen write-up. Very appropriate

Squishy123 July 10, 2014 at 9:13 am

So now you’re critiquing your own writing? “keen”, “very appropriate”??? You might get more satisfaction if you hear if from someone else, maybe you can get your mom to write a response to your article.

Philip Branton July 10, 2014 at 3:47 pm

Squishy123… least Grand Tango is trying to do something..?

Squishy123 July 10, 2014 at 4:03 pm

Do tell…

Mark Sanford Sandwich July 10, 2014 at 6:57 pm

I’m hoping she’ll do me. Or Donita. Or her and Donita and me.

HelpingHand July 10, 2014 at 5:36 am

Just a thought… if the situation is this bad with the station, why are you all watching/listening? I don’t live in your area, but where I DO live, if I don’t like what’s on a station, I change to another station until I find something I DO like. Why give this station the audience ratings? Call some of their sponsors and threaten to boycott their product. And then DO it. Loss of revenue to the sponsors and they pull their ads from the station. Loss of revenue from the ads will force the station to fix the problems. Don’t just complain. This is something you can all do something to change. But you all need to stand together and follow through with the boycotts of the sponsors if the station doesn’t fix the problems.

Discordia July 10, 2014 at 6:41 am

Oh hey censorship! Something every free press organization should endorse as an American ideal.

And just when I thought SC couldn’t get any better!

nitrat July 10, 2014 at 10:45 am

Since when does a ‘free market’ website like this one care about what an EMPLOYER does to an EMPLOYEE?
And, hey, since when can’t a ‘person’ (the corporation Raycom) control their own website or Facebook site?
Stirring the pot to stir the pot…and get hits.

Jackie Chiles July 10, 2014 at 10:47 am

In a free market you’re free to criticize personnel decisions made by a private business. Just like in a free market, stocks rise and fall based on who’s hired as CEO. I love mocking Will as much as the next guy, but criticizing private companies for decisions they make fits in exactly with Sic’s free market principles.

Benjamin Stackz Derrick July 10, 2014 at 3:19 pm

WLTX is a total of one button away on the remote for me.

you know me July 10, 2014 at 4:17 pm

Ben will bounce back and be better than ever. The one I feel sorry for is Mr. Todd. Around the office, they’re saying that Donita might be looking for another job soon. I mean, is there anybody around here who likes the woman?

Rachel July 11, 2014 at 3:06 pm

If a tv or radio station cannot take feedback even tho it is negative..then they are NOT a reputable station…public opinion is what matters not Donita Todd’s opinion…I will not watch wis tv EVER again….still missing Jim Gandy…

Columbia News Hack July 13, 2014 at 7:43 pm

Donita Todd gives the phrase “fucking cunt” a bad name.

Rusty July 29, 2014 at 5:12 pm

Can’t stand when Todd comes on screen to give her ” two cents worth ” manager crap. She looks like she’s a bitch.

Rusty July 29, 2014 at 5:17 pm

I wish “hound-doggy ” would go by her office and punch her right in the gut, before he retires! ” that’s for you Ben!” Is Todd Jewish? I think I saw a Star necklace. Nothing wrong with that, unless you’re her.

Rusty July 29, 2014 at 5:18 pm

You know hound doggy . He’s the head reporter…. Hrmph


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