powered by FreeFind

Apple iTunes


Unrest accelerates at CBS11

It's getting ever more turbulent in the CBS11 newsroom, where "huge staff changes and subtractions" are anticipated within the next two months according to information relayed to unclebarky.com.

"Threats like this have the newsroom running wild," says a source at the station. No one will talk on the record for fear of reprisal.

The agent of change is new news director Regent Ducas, whose fast-paced "urgent" approach firmly took hold during the May sweeps ratings period. Ducas joined CBS11 in late March from KCTV-TV in Kansas City, where he took the station to No. 1 in the Nielsen ratings by selling viewers on the slogan "Live. Late-Breaking. Investigative."

CBS11 so far isn't faring nearly as well, particularly with its marquee 10 p.m. newscasts. In the recently ended May "sweeps," the station finished a distant third in the total homes Nielsen ratings and fifth among 25-to-54-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for news programming.

While CBS11 news staffers brace themselves, the Kansas City Star's Aaron Barnhart reports on a similar purge of the KCTV newsroom during Ducas' tenure. Recent lawsuits allege that age discrimination and harassment ran rampant in the newsroom at that time. Or as the headline for Barnhart's story reads: "Lawsuits reveal a time of turbulence at KCTV: A gain in ratings came at a high human cost in the newsroom, court filings indicate."

CBS11 president and general manager Steve Mauldin was out of town on station business Thursday. But he sent this message via Blackberry to CBS11 communications director Lori Conrad, who relayed it to unclebarky.com.

"Response from me is that is not true," Mauldin said of any "huge staff changes" in the offing.

This time the cliche fits: Stay tuned.