Writers Guild East just realized Channel 9’s newscast is gone. WWOR is owned by Fox News/News Corp. I don’t understand why the FCC hasn’t stepped in already. WWOR replaced their only newscast with a crap canned show a la TMZ that looks like a bunch of jackals running around with minicams. They should all be ashamed of themselves. But you know CHannel 9 once hosted Morton Downey Jr’s embarrassment of debasement, so I guess they could argue it’s the station’s history. Even worse: Richard Bey. The fact is, Channel 9 has always been a garbage dump. FoxNews/NewsCorp just cinched it.
The Writers Guild of America, East learned last week that WWOR was abandoning New Jersey news coverage by canceling its last remaining local news show.
As a result seven Writers Guild, East news writers – all of them long time employees – were given their walking papers. This was done in typically cold corporate form: members were called into a meeting on July 3rd and told they were out of a job and that they should collect their things and leave. The boxes they packed were searched before they left. Because their Guild contract requires two weeks’ notice before a layoff, those members will continue to receive their salaries until the middle of the month as well as one week of severance pay for each year they worked, cushioning the blow but not the injustice.
WWOR owner News Corp. (whose television division is now known as “21st Century Fox”) has long underplayed the legal requirement that it provide local news coverage to the people of New Jersey – a legal condition of its holding the license to operate in the state.
The Guild joins Senator Robert Menendez’s call that the FCC conclude its review of 21st Century Fox’s application to renew its license for WWOR, as well as the ongoing investigation into whether WWOR made misrepresentations related to that application.
“We agree that WWOR is not serving the interests of the people of New Jersey as required by FCC rules,” said WGAE Executive Director Lowell Peterson. “The people of New Jersey deserve a television station that will honor its responsibility to provide thoughtful, professional coverage of the issues facing the state. WWOR should add news programming, not chase it off the airwaves.”