Former Staffer Alleges a String of Poor Decisions Made By Fox 5 Management

The changes at WNYW/Channel 5 since last July could fill a book. While it has become a revolving door in the evening, one constant has been the “other anchor.”

That would be Dari Alexander, who remains on set at 5 and 10 p.m., no matter if it’s with Ernie Anastos, Greg Kelly, or Steve Lacy. Readers of FishbowlNY have been leaving comments since the summertime anchor debacle about her ability.

Related: FishbowlNY, Major Anchor Changes Come to Fox 5

For example, last week, Alexander was caught inadvertently calling “sitting shiva” for Mayor Ed Koch as “shitting” shiva.

That led to these remarks on the posting:

Dari seems like a nice person, but speaking strictly on her work, she is easily the worst anchor in NYC. Completely [miscast].

Sad to say, she is horrible!

The sentiment about Alexander extends well beyond a handful of disgruntled viewers.

A former colleague who worked with Alexander tells FishbowlNY that her work ethic was non-existent.

“I’ve never worked with anybody who does less preparation before she gets on the air.” [She] seems to not really care where the show is going next or what’s really happening. [Alexander] just seems to be absolutely unaffected and oblivious to the consequences of that,” the former colleague says. “It was so strange. I had never worked with anybody like that.”

Alexander, 43, began at Fox 5 as the 6 with Rick Folbaum. When Rosanna Scotto moved to mornings in 2008, Alexander was tabbed as the station’s lead female anchor on the 5p.m. and 10 p.m. opposite market icon Anastos.

One reason for her ascension, the former WNYW staffer contends, is her strong family ties with Fox.

“There’s an alliance there with her family and Roger Ailes. She is in his camp. She’s a personal project there.”

We reached out to WNYW. A spokesperson would not comment for the record.

Another person familiar with the management structure at Fox tells FishbowlNY that Ailes has a rotation of favorite talent, much like a recycling of baseball skippers.

“In his mind, Fox 5 is, for lack of a better term, a convenient dumping ground for people who can’t really cut it at the [Fox] News Channel, but he still wants to employ them for some other reason—some political alliance or some allegiance to somebody.”

There has been a laundry list of talent shuttled from FNC to Fox local. Kelly and Alexander worked for Ailes’ network. More recently, there was a one-for-one “trade” sending Heather Nauert to the cable channel and Juliet Huddy to WNYW’s Good Day Early Call.

“Juliet Huddy — trust me — will that girl ever be unemployed in Roger Ailes world?” The source says, “Absolutely not!”

Other on-air personnel at Fox 5, the source says, is “some sort of stop gap measure or some sort of loose-handed gamble that may or may not work.”

Kelly would definitely fall into the latter. His seven months, as FishbowlNY reported, at the top of the WNYW anchor desk, was filled with internal squabbles with executives. He was sharply criticized for not bringing enough of a serious-minded newscast to prime time. Ultimately, our FishbowlNY readers stared into their crystal balls and called it correctly — Kelly was bounced from nights back to Good Day New York where Scotto was waiting with open arms last month.

But the source with ties to the situation says “absolutely, without question,” the only reason Kelly survived is because of dear old dad, the NYPD police commissioner, Ray Kelly.

“There are political and personal alliances and allegiances that go right to the top, and the people who are in that camp live by a completely different set of rules. They are held to a completely different standard,” the source says. “They are given much more of a safety net than anybody who comes through that place who might be a GM pick or a news director pick. Poor Steve Lacy, he’s just a good, solid news guy who is at risk of being sacrificed for the sake of someone more aligned with the powers. In that way, he was probably a station news director [Dianne Doctor] or GM [Lew Leone] pick.”

Kelly can also thank one other person for his morning resurrection — Dave Price.