WEWS Cleveland has apologized for posting a story about Charles Ramsey's criminal record. Ramsey was viewed as a hero for helping rescue the women who were held captive in a Cleveland home earlier in the week.
WEWS ran a story May 8 detailing Ramsey's criminal past and subsequent rehabilitation, and a day later admitted it was "a poor judgment call."
"While the story was factually sound, the timing of it and publication of such information was not in good taste, and we regret it," WEWS posted on its Facebook page, acknowledging that user comments prompted the Scripps station to scrub the story from its website.
"We listened to our audience and read the comments," Jill Manuel, WEWS news director, told B&C. "We had a conversation and decided it was probably too soon. We underestimated the depth of people's emotions and want to be responsible to our audience."
Over 1,850 users "liked" the station's mea culpa post.
"Ramsey is a hero for his actions, and we recognize that," concluded WEWS. "Thank you so much for your feedback.
Poynter.org previously reported on WEWS' admission.
Earlier in the week, the Cleveland TV stations went wall-to-wall on the story of three women, Gina DeJesus, Amanda Berry and Michelle Knight, that had been held against their will in a Cleveland house for over a decade. They are waiting for the victims to address the media.
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