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Former Iowa Anchor Files Lawsuit Against Nexstar Media Group, Inc.

Tony Cartagena

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Nexstar Media Group, INC

Sonya Heitshusen was once one of the most prominent news anchors in Iowa.

ABC News recently reported that she has filed a lawsuit against her former employer, Nexstar Media Group, Inc, who owns and operates WHO-TV in Des Moines.

Her claim is “a widespread practice of removing older, female staffers from the air because of their looks.”

Heitshusen spoke with the Associated Press:

“Where are all the women who are in TV broadcasting over 50? You don’t see women on TV with gray hair and wrinkles.

“It has to change. Women are relevant after the age of 50. They have a lot of great ideas. They are hard workers and can make a difference.”

Nexstar Media Group, Inc owns 199 stations nationwide.

ABC News further reported that the company claims that letting Heitshusen go was part of a workforce reduction, however, this is not the first lawsuit of its kind filed against them.

” Company statistics show that nearly 80% of its managers last year were men.”

She says in the report that she was blindsided by her firing in April of 2020 when the company told her there was a contract clause allowing her to be let go as part of a “business decision.” Heitshusen was offered a low paying digital role, but nothing on-air, per ABC.

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News Television

Phil Mattingly, Poppy Harlow Bid CNN This Morning Farewell Amid Lineup Changes

Barrett News Media

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A photo of Poppy Harlow and Phil Mattingly
(Photo: CNN)

After a short, tumultuous run, CNN This Morning produced its final episode Friday morning as a new morning programming lineup is set to debut next week.

As the show signed off for the final time Friday, anchors Phil Mattingly and Poppy Harlow thanked those who worked behind the scenes for their commitment to the show, noting the morning timeslot features a difficult schedule for the dozens of people involved with the production of the program.

A new show of a similar name — CNN This Morning with Kasie Hunt — will debut from 5-7 AM ET on Monday. Following it, a morning version of CNN NewsCentral will launch in the 7-10 AM ET window.

The network launched the show in November 2022 as the brainchild of former executive Chris Licht, which paired hosts Don Lemon, Kaitlan Collins, and Harlow together. The program struggled to gain its footing amid reported internal issues between Lemon and Collins, with ratings sagging for months. Eventually, Lemon was fired by the network after a series of on-air missteps and behind-the-scenes turmoil. Collins was later moved to a primetime slot with the network, which she maintains.

Later, CNN fired Licht after strong internal pushback over his decision to host former President Donald Trump for a town hall event. A feature story in The Atlantic called Licht’s ability to manage the brand into question, which ultimately led to his downfall. The outlet later tabbed Mark Thompson to serve as its next President and CEO. He led the charge to bring a new program to the morning timeslot.

With the changes, CNN’s entire morning lineup will now be produced out of its Atlanta studios.

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News Television

CBS Reportedly Seizes Files From Laid-Off Journalist After Investigations Into President Biden

Many staffers questioned the motives of the company and its reasoning for dealing with Herridge’s files and possessions differently than other fired employees, with one manager calling the situation “outrageous.”

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CBS is facing backlash after reportedly seizing files from an investigative reporter it laid off as part of cost-cutting measures earlier this month.

According to an opinion piece from Jonathan Turley on TheHill.com, CBS News took possession of the “files, computers and records, including information on privileged sources” of investigative reporter Catherine Herridge, who was one of 20 staffers whose jobs were eliminated in a round of reductions last week.

“I have spoken confidentially with current and former CBS employees who have stated that they could not recall the company ever taking such a step before,” wrote Turley. “One former CBS journalist said that many employees ‘are confused why [Herridge] was laid off, as one of the correspondents who broke news regularly and did a lot of original reporting.'”

Turley added that several employees inside the network questioned why Herridge was removed in the first place, noting that she regularly broke major stories for the outlet. He continued by noting that many staffers questioned the motives of the company and its reasoning for dealing with Herridge’s files and possessions differently than other fired employees, with one manager calling the situation “outrageous.”

After his comments and column went viral early Friday morning, Turley noted that — under public and internal pressure — the outlet was making arrangements to return the files and information to Herridge.

“I am hearing from CBS sources that the network is moving toward a resolution to turn over the files after the outcry,” he wrote in a post to X. “However, the concerns over Herridge’s termination and the network’s handling of her confidential notes continues to raise alarm in the journalistic community.”

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Alleged Fox News Hacker of Viral Tucker Carlson Clips Indicted

“We obviously emphatically deny these charges and we’re looking forward to the opportunity to defend him and exonerate him.”

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A photo of Tucker Carlson drinking a beer
(Photo: Media Matters)

After being arrested last year as the accused hacker of the viral clips of Tucker Carlson after his exit from Fox News, former Deadspin editor Tim Burke has been indicted in a federal court.

Burke was arrested Thursday morning in Tampa Bay, and is charged with 14 crimes, including conspiracy.

Law enforcement officials allege Burke and an unnamed accomplice used “compromised credentials” to illegally access video streams from Fox News to distribute unflattering clips of Carlson after his high-profile exit from the conservative cable outlet last April.

The complaint also alleges that Buke took “specific steps” to mask how and where the clips — which were ultimately published by Media Matters — were obtained.

Attorneys representing Burke allege he did nothing wrong in obtaining and disseminating the videos.

“It’s not hacking, it’s just good investigative journalism,” Maddux told the Tampa Bay Times Thursday. “We obviously emphatically deny these charges and we’re looking forward to the opportunity to defend him and exonerate him.”

Earlier this year, the ACLU of Florida agreed, claiming the details of Burke’s case have a “chilling effect on journalism.”

The videos of Tucker Carlson were released in a steady stream by Media Matters. Over the course of several days, clips of Carlson railing against the FOX Nation streaming service, drinking on the job, asking a makeup artist if she had pillow fights during sleepovers, and his controversial interview with rapper Kanye West that featured anti-Semitic comments from the artist were all released by the media watchdog organization.

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