Thursday, March 31, 2016
WTAE-TV Parts Company With Longtime Anchor Wendy Bell
"WTAE has ended its relationship with anchor Wendy Bell," Hearst Television said in a statement Wednesday afternoon. "Wendy's recent comments on a WTAE Facebook page were inconsistent with the company's ethics and journalistic standards." A spokesman for Hearst Television declined further comment.
The Pittsburgh Business Journal reports WTAE-TV President and General Manager Charles W. Wolfertz III referred calls to a Hearst Television spokesman.
She had joined WTAE-TV in September 1998 and had been an anchor on the 5 p.m., 5:30 p.m., 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. newscast at the station. She had apparently not been on the air since the Facebook post a week ago Monday.
Bell had gotten into hot water over a now-deleted Facebook post on the murder of six people in Wilkinsburg and her encounter with an employee at a South Side restaurant. She was criticized in a highly-viewed blog post as being "tone deaf" and racially insensitive. The Pittsburgh Black Media Federation condemned the post and urged WTAE officials to meet with them about the issue.
"The irresponsible statements demonstrate a persistent problem with how African-Americans are negatively stereotyped by too many journalists and news organizations," the federation said in a statement.
Posted 3:28:00 AM