Did WDBJ Killer Create This Blog Targeting a Talent Agent?

By Chris Ariens 


A blog created on April 9, 2013 under the author name Jay Thomas has just one posting. The talent agent who is mentioned in the post thinks he knows who’s behind it: Vester Flanagan.

“I knew immediately it was him,” said DCA Talent agent Steve Swienckowski. “He was the only negative interaction I could think of in the weeks prior to the posting.”

Swienckowski says Flanagan, using his real name not his on-air name Bryce Williams, called him on March 7, 2013. He told Swienckowski his contract wasn’t renewed. In fact, Flanagan had been fired from WDBJ weeks earlier for performance issues.

“He thought his next step could be as an anchor in San Francisco. That’s a big leap for unemployed reporter in Roanoke,” Swienckowski told TVSpy. “We had a very long conversation and I found him odd and sent him an email saying we were not interested. He called me and asked for clarification and I tried to be vague and not hurt his feelings, but he was miffed.”

Four weeks later someone alerted Swienckowski to the blog. He asked Google, which owns Blogger.com, to remove the site in 2013. He reached out to them again following this week’s tragedy. “I told them, ‘if you reach out to the author Jay Thomas, you won’t hear back.'”

DCA Talent has 130 clients nationwide, including in Roanoke (though not at WDJB). Swienckowski says he no longer takes cold calls from prospective clients.