Thursday, September 3, 2020

Pittsburgh Radio: KDKA-TV Distances Itself From KDKA-AM Talker

Wendy Bell
KDKA-TV is distancing itself from Pittsburgh radio personality Wendy Bell in light of controversial comments she made on recent videos, such as calling on park rangers to shoot people who deface monuments honoring historical figures, reports

“KDKA-TV would like to remind our viewers and readers that Wendy Bell does not work for KDKA-TV, a ViacomCBS owned station,” the television station said in a statement on its social media platforms. “Bell works for KDKA Radio, which is owned by Entercom Communications radio group. Please direct all comments and inquiries to KDKA Radio, 412-353-1300.”

Bell, once one of the most recognized faces on Pittsburgh television, worked at WTAE-TV for 18 years before being fired in March 2016 for controversial comments she made on her Facebook page.

Some people have been confused about whom she works for, thinking she works for KDKA-TV rather than KDKA Radio. She hosts a provocative, opinion-driven, afternoon radio talk show.

The timing of KDKA-TV’s clarification coincides with videos of Bell that have surfaced on social media. In one of these videos she addresses the debate over defacing and tearing down monuments of controversial figures such as Christopher Columbus, who is memorialized with a statue in Schenley Park in Pittsburgh.

In the video, taken during her live radio show, Bell looks into the camera and says: “My easy solution for the park rangers and hopefully snipers who are going to be watching for this is to shoot on sight.” Bell then mimics the sound of a gunshot. “Shoot! Done! No more messing with monuments. You want to mess with a monument? Done! Get out!”

There has been plenty of negative reaction to Bell’s comments on social media.

The negative comments heaped on KDKA-TV have left General Manager Chris Cotugno feeling exasperated.

“We have been inundated with phone calls and emails with comments and questions relating to Wendy Bell, and we had to tell folks that she does not work for KDKA-TV. We are not her employer. Please stop calling us because our people need to do their jobs,” said Cotugno, who expressed concern that the mistaken notion Bell works for his television station is bringing negative attention to KDKA-TV.

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