Tuesday, January 25, 2005

The FCC announced today it will look into rules that are preventing cable companies like Cable One and Cox from getting network broadcasting from out-of-town stations when it is withheld from them locally.
Cable One viewers who did not get an antenna have been unable to watch NBC and ABC programming since the beginning of the year when Nexstar Broadcasting, owner of KSNF and de facto owner of KODE pulled those programs after Cable One refused to pay 30 cents per customer per month for the right to carry the two local stations.
The same situation faces Cox Communications customers in Lamar and Carthage at the end of this month. According to an article in today's Multichannel News, small cable operators have asked for the inquiry, believing that their inability to go out and get a network station from another market gives the local stations an unfair edge in negotiations.
The article said that Congress passed a law last month ordering the FCC to study the impact of its local carriage rules and file a report with the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the Senate Commerce Committee by Sept. 8.
The article said Congress is concerned that cable is being denied the ability to compete with satellite carriers.
The FCC will take comments through March 1, the article said.
The selection process for the Neosho R-5 superintendent position will be roundly criticized by members of the district's search committee in an article in the Joplin Globe tomorrow morning.
In the article, committee member Kent Wilson accuses the school board of having its sights set on its eventual selection, current assistant superintendent Dr. Richard Page, all along.
It also quotes committee members as being skeptical about only having 13 or 14 applications for a job that pays more than $100,000 a year. The article apparently does not mention a contention made by a committee member in a recent article written by Neosho Daily News Editor Buzz Ball, that Page was not the committee's first selection, nor its second.
Nor is there any mention in the Globe article about the apparent illegal method which the board used to select who would be on its screening committee, going into a closed session, which was not permitted under the Missouri Sunshine Law.
The Globe article features exhortations by Board President Steve Marble and Neosho Mayor and committee member Howard Birdsong to support Page.
If at first you don't succeed, you belong in the Missouri General Assembly.
Take the case of 86th District State Representative Jane Cunningham, R-Chesterfield. For the second straight year, the conservative Republican has introduced a bill that would discourage people from filing complaints with the Missouri Ethics Commission. Ms. Cunningham's bill would require that the person who is named in a complaint be given the complainant's name, address, and telephone number.
If that's not bad enough, her bill, HB 255, would make it a crime to release any information about a complaint while it is still a closed record, with a penalty of up to a $2,500 fine and one year in jail.
And apparently, Ms. Cunningham also wants to discourage citizens from reviewing the election records of their elected representatives, including her. The bill would require people who want to inspect or copy campaign finance disclosure forms to provide photo identification. If these are public documents, and they are, why should people have to show any kind of identification to look at them or make copies of them?
This attempt to discourage people from examining the records of elected officials failed last year, but who knows what might happen this time with a Republican-controlled legislature and a Republican governor.
No surprises were featured in The Weather Channel's response to the age discrimination lawsuit filed in U. S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia by former KODE-TV weather personality Marny Stanier Midkiff.
Weather Channel officials, in a response filed Jan. 18, denied Ms. Midkiff's allegations that she was fired because she was too old.
In her complaint, Ms. Midkiff noted that during her 16-year tenure at The Weather Channel, she "consistently received excellent performance reviews, progressive promotions and regular pay raises."
According to Ms. Midkiff's petition, Senior Vice President of Programming and Production Terry Connelly constantly referred to her and two other over-40 on-camera meteorologists as "matronly" and "dowdy."
An image consultant was brought in by Connelly in June 2003, the petition said, to "help the women look younger and sexier."
In August 2003, the petition said, Connelly held an "open forum" for female on-camera meteorologists in which he complained that "our women are matronly, dowdy, and nun-like." During the forum, he suggested that the women wear clothes that would make them look younger.
A few months later, Connelly fired both Ms. Midkiff and the other older female on-camera meteorologist. "Connelly turned over all of their management responsibilities to the remaining male manager. He turned over their on-camera work to the younger males and females he had been hiring and continued to hire during the 'reorganization.' "
He permitted the other older woman who was removed from her position on the television channel to continue to broadcast on the Weather Channel's radio program "where listeners would presumably be less sensitive about her age."
Ms. Midkiff is asking for back pay and benefits, reinstatement and/or front pay, attorney's fees, "and all other appropriate damages, remedies and other relief available."
Former Joplin Boys and Girls Club director Rob Clay's preliminary hearing on embezzling charges is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 3, in Judge Richard Copeland's courtroom in the Jasper County Courts Building in Joplin.
Former Sarcoxie minister Donald Peckham has been given until Thursday, Feb. 17, to file any amended motions in his attempt to have his conviction for child molestation tossed out by the Missouri Southern District Court of Appeals.

No comments: