WVUE’s news director and general manager told the Times-Picayune Rose was dismissed due to budgetary concerns. “I love his stuff. It’s a luxury that takes a lot of resources for us to do,” WVUE GM Joe Cook said. “He doesn’t shoot his own stuff. His stuff is not necessarily sponsor-able. I’m going to miss him. For the same investment, I can have a couple of reporters out there.”
But Rose suspects his exit from the station was because of his January commentary, which was about the 2013 Super Bowl in New Orleans. WVUE is owned by Louisiana Media Company, which was founded by Tom Benson, the owner of the New Orleans Saints. Rose tells the Times-Picayune his side of the story:
The commentary was, “by my standards, lightweight – it was anything but a rant,” he said. “It was a cautionary tale about city spending prior to the Super Bowl, looking at the expensive palm trees downtown while people in Gentilly are still waiting to get their sidewalks rebuilt from Katrina.”
Rose said viewer reaction was positive – the commentary expressed views that many here held in the airbrush-heavy run-up to the game — but he was told to not do any more Super Bowl-related essays. “They gave no reason,” he said. “Just flat-out, ‘Don’t.’
“They said, ‘We want to keep it positive before the Super Bowl.’ Which I found funny, because I’ve never really equated my voice to anti-New Orleans.”
“I said, ‘Give me time. Watch what I talk about the next three weeks, which is New Orleans pride.’”
Rose’s next piece, he said, was about the multiple-victim Central City shootings on the Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade route.
“They didn’t even shoot that one,” Rose said. “And at that point, I was removed from commentaries, and I’ve just done 60 Second Interviews since. Three nights a week. That’s a lot of seconds.”