Sinclair: WWMT Journalist Fired for Breaching Policy, Not Politics

Sinclair Broadcast Group Wednesday said the firing of a journalist at its Kalamazoo, Mich., station stemmed from repeated violations of company policy—not politics, as has been reported.

“Our policy regarding political neutrality in station newsrooms is very clear, and our news staff are routinely reminded of it,” Scott Livingston, the group’s VP of news, said in an email. “While we don’t discuss the details of any employee matter publicly, suffice it to say that in this case the employee violated this policy numerous times, and there came a point when we had to let her go.”

Livingston’s comments were in response to published reports tying the dismissal of Randy Lubratich, an executive producer at CBS affiliate WWMT, to two tweets she sent from her personal account challenging the confirmation of education secretary Betsy DeVos.

The story, first published in The Daily Banter, was based on Lubratich’s account of the events, according to the writer, Chez Pazienza.

Pazienza also cites an internal memo from Livingston that was obtained by FTVLive and is posted on the site. In it, Livingston said that he is seeing “a troubling trend” of one-sided political reporting across stations. He also said that after reviewing stations’ newscasts and social media pages “there is reason to be concerned” about liberal bias in Sinclair stations’ coverage.

The memo, however, does not address the situation at WWMT—or any other particular station.