Station Break

Tears in Terre Haute

Among the dead in the bombing of the Oklahoma City Murrah federal building was the father of a Little Rock TV reporter who will cover the execution of the man responsible.

Carla Wade of KATV(TV), who recently worked on a series on the bombing that took her to Oklahoma City—a series that includes interviews with her own family—decided she should be in Terre Haute for the May 16 execution of Tim McVeigh. She will not witness the execution, however.

But what others might find extraordinary, Wade sees as nothing remarkable and says she was caught off guard last week by the attention her plans received.

"In Oklahoma, you'd be hard pressed to find anyone who did not have some sort of personal tie to this story," says the former Oklahoma resident.

The station would not otherwise have sent a reporter, says News Director Bob Steel. "It was her idea. We even debated whether it was appropriate." But when McVeigh recently removed all doubt about his guilt, Steel says, "we realized no one is going to be objective about this story."

But Wade intends to maintain her professionalism. "I'm not wrapped up in a ball of fury. If I were an artist, I might paint a picture to tell this story. I'm a broadcaster. I can talk and I can write to bring some dignity and respect to the victims of the bombing."

The unkindest cut

KOB-TV Albuquerque anchor Cyndy Hernandez was taken off the anchor desk for cutting her hair without permission. "She made a dramatic change in her appearance, and she made it without telling anybody," says News Director Chris Berg. "Anyone can wear their hair any way they want to—except when they're obligated to their employer ... Their appearance is subject to scrutiny. This is boilerplate language in any contract at any TV station in the country."

Although members of a local radio team offered to shave their heads in solidarity with Hernandez, Hernandez seemed understanding of the station's point of view. "Let's be realistic. People care what you look like in this business. I hadn't even told my husband about it. I should have run it by management. At first, they suggested I wear a wig or extensions," but that idea was dropped. Despite what management or anyone else thinks—and a local newspaper ran front-page before-and-after photos, inviting comment—"I like it." And far from suspension, she says, "I should get a bonus for all this publicity."

Banned in Boston?

Popular WHDH-TV Boston anchor Kim Carrigan has left the station, a month before the expiration of her contract. General Manager Mike Carson issued a statement that no agreement on Carrigan's contract could be reached and that Carrigan, the station's 5 p.m., 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. co-anchor, "will take off the remainder of her contract." Carson would not comment further. Catarina Bandini, Kim Khazei and Amy Johnson are expected to replace Carrigan during May sweeps. Carson said a pleasant farewell but would not comment further.

Her manager, Alfred Geller, asserted that Carrigan, who is seven months pregnant, was fired despite her popularity with viewers and within the station. Geller said that there were no substantive negotiations and that Sunbeam Television management had made the decision to get rid of her. He said that he had received numerous phone calls "from people who'd like to do business" but would not comment on the possibility of Carrigan's remaining in Boston. Massachusetts was a pioneering state in striking noncompete clauses from broadcasters' contracts.

Line of duty

Veteran KXTV(TV) Sacramento photographer Dick Terry, 52, died last week in a freak accident. He fell while covering a story. The station said that Terry continued working, unaware he'd suffered severe trauma to the brain.

"Dick's most notable assignment," the station says, was the Loma Prieta Earthquake. He happened to be on the Bay Bridge when the quake hit and was able to bring the world its first close-up pictures of the bridge collapse."

New starring role in news

Actress-turned-anchor Andrea Thompson will be bringing her star power to CNN Headline News. Thompson created a stir last year when she left ABC's NYPD Blue to join KRQE-TV Albuquerque.

All news is local. Contact Dan Trigoboff at 301-260-0923, e-mail
, or fax 413-254-4133.