Joseph Calbreath, retired meteorologist for Eugene, OR, NBC affiliate KMTR, is not being shy about giving viewers his take on Fisher Communications‘ acquisition of his former station and the layoffs that followed. In a facebook post riddled with misspellings and grammatical mistakes, Calbreath lets loose on everyone from the FCC to future owner Sinclair Broadcasting Group.
“Little did I know a couple of months ago when I picked the date of my retirement that it would coincided with the transfer of ownership that would result in 31 of my friends loosing their jobs in a blood bath type fashion.”
Calbreath retired from KMTR on May 31 after working there for almost 25 years. “Since this page is in my name and has nothing to do with my former employer, I will start changing the information I share here. I now for the first time in 30 year can have an opinion about things.”
One of Calbreath’s opinions was on the sale of KMTR to Fisher. “First off, when I started in this business this sale would be illegal,” wrote Calbreath. “No company could own two broadcast TV stations in the same market.”
“The lobbyist in Washington have done a good job of changing the laws over the last 30 years and now almost anything goes. The FCC is a joke in my opinion. They go berserk if you slip and say a four letter word by accident or have a wardrobe malfunction, but could care less if big communications companies eliminate any competition in their attempt to dominate the information we receive.”
KMTR was bought by Fisher Communications last November. Fisher also owns Eugene’s CBS affiliate KVAL and has entered into a shared services agreement with Roberts Broadcasting for the station’s operation. Sinclair announced plans to buy Fisher in April.
He also sounded off with a tongue-in-cheek view of the recent round of layoffs at KMTR which included letting go anchors Matt Templeman and Renee McCullough, “Business wise, it probably makes good sense to eliminate people who are familiar and popular as quick as possible. Matt and Renee are liked and respected in this area and are familiar identifiable faces everywhere they go.”
Calbreath ends his post by saying he has no plans to watch local TV anymore, not that he ever did, “I never watched local news because I got everything I needed to know about what was going on in our community at work each day. I still won’t watch local news but will continue to read the newspaper and get my news one day later than before.”
KMTR told TVSpy it would not comment on personnel matters.Broadcasting & Cable] [Eugene Weekly]