ABC 10 HAS a new news director, its fourth in the last year or so. The station’s not exactly a model of stability.
Greg Peterson was fired from the job a few days ago and Sports Director Jerry Taylor took over as interim ND on Monday. He’s hoping and expecting it’ll become a permanent gig.
He’s only 26, a three and a half year veteran at the station, a graduate of Central Michigan University. He’s thrilled with the appointment because he loves the UP, loves his job (he’ll still be doing sports as well as some news stories) and he says he’s got a great (though tiny) staff.
He’s saying all the right things. A smart and enthusiastic young man embracing this new challenge.
The more interesting question, though, is what happened to Peterson. He hasn’t returned any phone calls yet.
We do know there was a revolt of sorts within the news room about six weeks ago. His employees weren’t happy with the direction they were getting from him. The revolt seemed to subside for a few weeks but ABC 10’s management explains that some of the problems that had come up in the past with Peterson were never resolved. Hence, the termination. No further details provided.
To be honest, Peterson’s hiring in September took some in the media by surprise. He’s a veteran of all three TV stations and the Mining Journal, a genuine newshound with an ability to ferret out stories–investigative, enterprise stories–but he was also known as a loose cannon, someone who approached news stories sometimes in a reckless manner.
His web site Upper Peninsula Breaking News demonstrates both his strength–his tenacity–and his weaknesses–his tendencies toward sensationalism and exaggeration. Still it’s nice to know that someone in town is practicing some form of investigative journalism.
As for Taylor (known as J.T.) and his staff, they’ll carry on. They’re hardworking but severely handicapped by a lack of funding, resources and personnel.
Station ownership has never seen fit to invest more than the absolute, bare-bones necessities to keep the station on the air.
Maybe that’s why we’ve seen four news directors there in the last year. Come to think of it, that is the reason why.
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