WDEA posted an apology on the contest page, “First, let’s start by saying that we love all of these beautiful ladies! Now, let us say something else. It seems we offended a few of you out there with our use of the word “Hottest” to describe these lovely and talented journalists. It was not our intent to offend, so we’ve changed it to “Favorite.” Sorry about that.”
The contest includes Carolyn Callahan, Jackie De Tore and Adrienne Di Piazza from WABI, Nicole Gerber and Lindsey Mills from Bangor ABC and FOX affiliate WVII-WFVX and Melissa Kim and Jackie Ward from Bangor and Portland NBC affiliates WLBZ and WCSH.
The Bangor Daily News reports Mike Redding, news director for WLBZ and Portland NBC affiliate WCSH said both Kim and Ward declined to participate when they were contacted by the radio station, but were included anyway.
“They find it demeaning, and I find it demeaning. Our whole newsroom is offended by it,” Redding told the Daily News. “No journalist worth her salt would participate in a contest like this.”
A disclaimer on the contest page says,
*Note: The poll was created with publicly available (and/or submitted) images of the news personalities. Their inclusion in the poll does not necessarily mean personalities themselves or their news stations condoned the poll.
There is no indication of when the disclaimer was added.
WLBZ anchor Chris Facchini posted a statement attributed to WLBZ on his facebook page. The statement read: “WCSH6 and WLBZ2 do not condone the current WDEA poll involving our reporters names and images. We made it clear before the start of this poll that our newsrooms will not participate, and that our individual reporters do NOT want to be involved. We find it demeaning to our reporters and the other journalists used in this contest.”
Facchini told viewers, “I Cannot agree with this statement from our management any more strongly regarding the use of Melissa and Jackie without their consent in this “hottest reporter contest.” They are both bright, hard working professionals that do not deserve to be objectified in this way:”
TVSpy has reached out to some of the parties involved. We will update when we hear back.