DC Trawler

Three KTVU producers fired for trusting the National Transportation Safety Board

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Remember this?

Thanks for that report, Rhonda Burgundy.

Well, heads have finally rolled, but not among the people ultimately responsible. The San Francisco Chronicle reports:

KTVU-TV has dismissed at least three veteran producers over the on-air gaffe involving the fake names of those Asiana airline pilots that became an instant YouTube hit – and a major embarrassment to the station.

Station sources confirmed late Wednesday that investigative producer Roland DeWolk, special projects producer Cristina Gastelu and producer Brad Belstock were all sent packing following an in-house investigation into the July 12 broadcast of four fake names of the pilots involved in the Asiana Flight 214 crash at San Francisco International Airport on July 6.

During its noon newscast on July 12, anchor Tori Campbell announced that “KTVU has just learned the names of the four pilots who were on board” the ill-fated plane – then proceeded to read from a teleprompter while the phony names were displayed on a graphic…

Only after the station returned from a break did Campbell – who had clearly been unaware of the mistake – read an on-air correction, telling viewers that the station had confirmed the names with the National Transportation Safety Board.

By day’s end, the NTSB issued its own apology for “inaccurate and offensive names that were mistakenly confirmed” to KTVU. Soon after, the NTSB announced that it had fired a summer intern over the incident.

A “summer intern.”

Not that anybody in this story comes out looking good, but it sure does point out the difference between the private and public sectors. KTVU has a reputation to uphold and sponsors to answer to, presumably, so they found out who was responsible, named them, and fired them.

Whereas the NTSB just said, “Ehhhhh. It was an intern. We took care of it. And that’s the end of that. No, you don’t get to know who. Whaddaya gonna do about it?” No transparency. No accountability. No consequences.

No big surprise.

Hey, have they blamed this on the sequester yet? If not, I will. This was definitely because the sequester.

Tags : treacher
Jim Treacher