TV News Web Site:”Hartford Media Manager’s Judgment Called Into Question”

Below is the top entry on the national web site  News Blues….

“QUESTIONABLE JUDGMENT”

“We told you yesterday about Shelly Sindland, the senior reporter and political correspondent at Tribune’s WTIC-61-Fox in Hartford (Market #30) who filed an age and gender discrimination complaint against the station. In our report, we mentioned Rich Graziano, who is not only the general manager of WTIC (and is named in the complaint) but is also publisher of Tribune’s Hartford Courant.

“We mention this because the Courant didn’t post the story of Sindland’s complaint until 5:24 p.m. yesterday, although it had been widely reported on several respected Connecticut news blogs the previous day. In fact, the Courant printed WTIC’s reaction to the complaint before it even reported on the complaint itself. Strange, indeed.

“It’s been a rocky start for Graziano. On March 30, the bankrupt Tribune Company took the extraordinary step of naming him publisher of the venerable newspaper while keeping him general manager of Tribune’s WTIC-61-Fox and WTXX-20-CW duopoly.

“Just a few weeks later, he found himself into an uncomfortable jam with a young female employee. Cops found Graziano, 40, and Elsa Veisor, 29, WTIC’s marketing director, sitting in Veisor’s car in a golf driving range parking lot at 1 a.m. Police arrested Veisor for DUI, after she failed sobriety tests and registered more than twice the legal limit for blood alcohol content.

“Veisor was taken to the local cop shop, where she was booked and had her license confiscated. Graziano picked up Veisor at the police station and returned her to her car. A short while later, she was arrested again (by the same cop) and charged with drunk driving, speeding, and driving while her license was under suspension.

“The Courant withheld reporting on the incident for more than a week. Tipsters claim Veisor was later demoted promoted moved to a position on the fourth floor of the Courant building, near Graziano’s executive office.

“Yesterday’s delayed reporting of the age and gender discrimination complaint against WTIC, combined with the delayed reporting of Graziano’s involvement in Elsa Veisor’s double DUI and her subsequent demotion promotion, and the decision to grant anonymity to a key source in a gruesome murder, has raised more than a few eyebrows in Hartford. And it brings into question Tribune’s decision to place editorial control of one of the nation’s most respected newspapers in the hands of a TV executive whose personal judgment has, at best, been suspect.”

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20 Responses

  1. Sleaze at the top flows down through the organization.

  2. [...] Laurel has an excerpt from a subscription-based media blog that calls into question Fox 61 / Courant CEO Rich [...]

  3. Remarkable. Remarkably depressing.

  4. Look for boots not shoes to drop…much more is on its way. You will get to read about it –soon.

  5. This is too bad. I really miss Rebecca in the morning. She brought a certain energy to the program that Sarah French does not – she comes across like a submissive wife when sitting next to Logan as if she’s not allowed to talk or express herself. And I don’t remember her being like that when she anchored Saturday & Sunday nights, especially when she had some funny conversations with Meteorologist Rachel Frank! Anyhow, it’s just not as lively in the morning as it was when Rebecca was sitting there, you could tell she loved that position and she displayed a sense of passion that radiated to the viewer. I also liked Laurie Perez behind the anchor desk, but I think she makes a far better reporter, not to mention she looks more comfortable out on scene. As for Shelly, I love her political program on Sunday morning. I can’t see why they would dock her pay for no apparently good reason. Although we know Tribune, like many companies, is having a hard time in this economy. But there does seem to be more to the story than that and thus I feel that Shelly did the right thing by bringing this suit forward.

    By the way, isn’t the AG on Tribune’s case about the Courant/WTIC newsroom merger? And why does the FCC let this duopoly ‘waiver’ continue? They should be forced to immediately relinquish ownership of WTXX and put the station up for auction – OR – the Courant/WTIC combined operations is disbanded. How is the public being served when a corporation such as Tribune has a monopoly on, not only one but, TWO television stations AND the state’s largest newspaper?

  6. All very interesting, and it’s certainly worth questioning how The Courant has handled these stories. But if news stories are being suppressed by the publisher, it does not make the many fine journalists still working at The Courant “sleazy,” as Jason seems to suggest.

    My recollection on the DUI story is that The Courant was out front on the reporting, broke the news of Graziano’s involvement and even posted the arrest report on the Web.

  7. Sorry, as JAKE seems to suggest

  8. Jeanne – I was referring to management not reporters.

  9. Jake, I was management.

  10. At Fox61? Why “was”?

  11. At The Courant. Was because I don’t work there any more.

    But, hey, I don’t want to get into a pissing match defending Tribune. There certainly are questions to be asked about how The Courant and Fox61 handled these matters. And your characterization of sleaze at the top may be fair based on what we’re learning.

    I just want to counter the notion of sleaze flowing through the organization. None of the journalists who work for Sam Zell or for Rich Graziano is responsible for what those people do. The Courant was out front on the DUI thing, and the reporters and editors involved in that story were sticking their necks out with a new publisher whose reaction they could not really predict. I know every single person who remains in The Courant’s newsroom, and the vast majority are, as they have always been, good, hard-working and ethical journalists.

  12. Jeanne – I should have made it clear that my comments were aimed primarily at Fox61 since the arrival of R.G. None of my comments were intended for the journalists at the Courant or Fox61. From my personal experience I know that sleazy management makes good people do things they normally wouldn’t do. If you don’t do it you’re out.

  13. You may be right, and it may come to that for some newsroom employees. But I’m not entirely convinced that it’s best for The Courant, Fox 61 or the public good for the best and most ethical journalists to walk away.The Courant, despite horrendous understaffing, is still the most consistent producer of meaningful journalism in the state. If Courant journalists could walk across town to a thriving Hartford Chronicle or sign up for jobs with decent wages at some new, far-reaching online news operation, that would be great. But at this point there is no news organization ready to step into that breach.

  14. Jeanne – you’re so right! It’s too bad the Times is gone.

  15. The Courant was out front on the double DUI/Publisher story, but correct me if I’m wrong:

    The editor of the paper left or was forced out the following week. As well as the #2.

    So the people who made the call to investigate and run the double DUI/Publisher story are no longer there.

  16. Lol at Veisor…shes a wannabe housewife of orange county….just trash as usual

  17. Why is Graziano employed at Fox still when other people are fired for things 1/10 the severity of what he did. Two words. Better Bedding.

  18. Why does tom anischik kiss graziano’s ass so much? he’s like a little lost puppy. a useless lost puppy.

  19. Maybe because even though the company is in bankruptcy, they both got over $500,000 in bonuses. Maybe the two of them just know how to work the system.

  20. This woman is the ugliest, useless person on the face of the earth. take YOUR SUNGLASSES OFF YOUR HEAD AT NIGHT.

    ITS MUST BE ALWAYS SUNNY IN THE NEWSROOM IRENE….god, your so fat

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