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WWL: Aging Out of TV News?
Where We Live - with John Dankosky
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A Fox 61 reporter has filed a complaint against her employer


Episode Audio

49:01 minutes (23.53 MB)
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A Fox 61 reporter has filed a complaint against her employer – charging age discrimination, and lifting the veil on the industry’s obsession with youth and beauty.

This is nothing new to former news anchor Janet Peckinpaugh, who also filed an age and sex discrimination suit against her former employer, Channel 3 – more than ten years ago. She won a big settlement.

But many wonder – should we be surprised when the often superficial world of TV proves to be only skin deep?

Today, Where We Live, we’ll talk with Peckinpaugh and veteran political reporter Duby McDowell about the reality and legality of the TV news business.

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This is a contract salary

This is a contract salary dispute masquerading as a human rights issue. Had FOX61 offered Shelly Sindland the money she requested..all of this would have never surfaced. If this was such a hostile work environment for Shelly, why didn't she ring the alarms in the previous 14 years? Is it a coincidence that her complaint was filed days after her first pay cut was became apparent? If Shelly was the ONLY reporter being asked to reduce her salary, then I am on her side. All local journalists are seeing shrinking salaries...wake up Shelly...male.female,old and young..the money ain't what is used to be and that's not discrimination...that's across the board economic truth.  Don't be duped. She is the highest paid reporter at the station and her ego wouldn't allow her to take a pay cut. She was a offered a nice salary to stay employed. She loves to cry about how hard it is to be a single mom. She was offered 60k. I know a lot of single moms that would love to earn that.

Stunning assessment

"Should we be surprised when the often superficial world of tv news is only skin deep?" What the hell kind of question is that? What kind of judgement are you making to begin with? You should do your homework before launching a program like this and try to refrain from inserting your opinions. We're quite able to make our own judgements about television news and your news too. Just for the record, more people watch local television news than listen all day to WNPR, including Where We Live. Just sayin...

Coming from women who traded on their looks to begin with...

I have had to file a sexual harrassment suit against a former employer in the past. This was a blatant case of "have sex with me or else lose your job."  There are many of us who have been the victims of this type of behavior. What gets me in the "broadcast journalism" world is that these women were specifically hired for what they looked liked. Neither of them would have been in the high-paying, high-powered positions they were in based on raw talent. Their looks played a major role in their career advancement. It only goes to follow that the same issue will play a role in career decline. Even Peckinpaugh said "thes are my peek earning years." That's based on physical appearance, not the ability to do the job.  It's no different with models, actors, etc.  It is a beauty industry in disguise.

Whats is being lost in this

Whats is being lost in this discussion of Shelly Sindland's case is that she WASN'T fired or asked to leave. She was offered a contract at a pay cut that is the standard now for media companies struggling to stay alive. Should she be singled out as the only one who shouldn't have to take a pay cut because of her gender and age?..That smacks of the reverse discrimination that New Haven firefighters fought against and won in the U.S. Supreme Court.  Local TV news is hanging on by a thread and all genders and ages are seeing their salaries slashed.