The reason for the abrupt departure of KODE anchor Tara Brown depends on whom you ask.
Some readers have told me it came as a result of a principled stand by Ms. Brown over a decision made by the higher-ups in the KODE news department.
Others describe it as either a "prima-donna" move by Ms. Brown or a shrewd maneuver to enable her to leave the station and take a position at another television station.
One thing cannot be denied- Ms. Brown is no longer being mentioned in the intros for KODE's 5, 6, and 10 p.m. newscasts, at least not the ones I watched Friday night. On Friday, Ms. Brown's photo was still on the KODE website. Now, it has been erased from the television station's homepage, though her photo and biography are still on the KODE website's "Meet the Team" section as I write this.
Here is the information on that page, since it may not be there by the time you check out the link:
Tara Brown anchors the 5, 6 and 10 pm newscasts. Before arriving in Joplin, Tara anchored the 6 & 10 pm news in Harrisonburg,
Virginia. Her first anchoring job was in South Dakota, where she got up before the roosters crowed in an early morning show. But Tara's very first TV gig was reporting in Vancouver.
Born and raised in Canada, Tara found herself in the national spotlight after becoming Miss World Canada 1991. Tara traveled all over the world including a trip to South Africa where she represented Canada in the Miss World Pageant. After her reign ended she graduated from Columbia Broadcasting in Vancouver, British Columbia...and the rest is history!
Tara leads a life of gratitude and while thrilled with all of her many professional accomplishments, she is most proud of her own family life...She credits her husband Duane as being her biggest supporter. "He plays Mr. Mom in our house," she says. "And when I'm home, I spend as much time with my two daughters as possible." Tara says her biggest accomplishment is yet to come..."when I survive the teenage years with my two daughters." Tara says she loves what she does and thanks God everyday for her many blessings.
Favorite Movie: The Passion of the Christ
Favorite Book: Easy -- the Bible
Favorite Food: Chocolate covered anything!
Favorite type of music/band/group: Contemporary Christian and Christian Rock
Ms. Brown walked out on KODE Monday, cleaning out her desks and leaving the station after a disagreement over the use of a sweeps package on the McDonald County cult/ritual sex story, a story on which Ms. Brown has led the way since the arrests of leaders of the Grand Valley Independent Baptist Church in late August.
Sources have told The Turner Report Ms. Brown was angered by an order to turn over the videotape of her report to KSNF to use on its broadcast. Ms. Brown was adamantly against that idea, but finally agreed to let KODE's sister station use the tape the following day. That idea did not fly with station officials, who reminded Ms. Brown of the shared services agreement that Nexstar Broadcasting, owner of KSNF (and obviously, the party in control since Mission is obviously a dummy corporation), and Mission Broadcasting have.
At that point, the sources say, Ms. Brown walked out and immediately cleaned out her desk.
Ms. Brown's detractors do not depict this as a principled stand in favor of her story and its use on KODE. They say Ms. Brown was grandstanding in an effort to find a way to walk out of her contract with KODE and accept a position with a station in a larger market. Reportedly, Ms. Brown's contract allowed her to leave KODE, which is in one of the smallest markets in the United States, to go to a top 50 market. Ms. Brown's detractors indicate she has a job in waiting at a larger market, but not a top 50 market.
As usual, the one place you can count on not getting the news when something like this happens is from area news outlets. KODE had the luxury of putting an experienced reporter, Gretchen Bolander beside the remaining anchor, Brian Hamman, the next night for election coverage. Ms. Bolander, as usual, was professional and the KODE coverage was solid.