How 2 Texas Stations Took Control of The Controlled Message

By Kevin Eck 

When an interview with former Baylor president and chancellor Ken Starr went sideways after a crisis management expert stepped in, Waco CBS affiliate KWTX did something not often seen in TV News, it showed the spin in action.

During the interview, Starr, who is under fire for mishandling rape accusations at the Texas school, at first seemed to admit he may have done the wrong thing. But after his crisis consultant stopped the interview and had a chat with the former Clinton investigator, he re-answered the re-asked question with a denial.

KWTX’s sister station KBTX interviewed the Waco station’s news director who was there and talked about what happened. The station showed the whole interview unfold, leaving the two answers in to allow viewers to see it all.


“This is journalism at its core,” Reel Media Group founder Stephanie Tsoflias Siegel told TVSpy. “Reporters are put on the streets to get answers, the real ones. And often times – more often now than before I believe – there is someone there, whether it be a publicist, family member or friend trying to control and choreograph the piece.”

The revolutionary step the two Texas stations took was to show the whole machine in action, hopefully allowing viewers see two truths: what Starr did or didn’t do and how he’s going to talk about it.

“This is process reporting at its finest and I salute the news director, the station and the reporter,” said Tsoflias. “If it were me – I would probably have had a some serious words with the lady (crisis management) while the camera was rolling.”

And if an interview tries to walk out?

“So what if he walks out?” says Tsoflias. “What (crisis management lady) was trying to correct turned into a major miss for Starr and a win for this station.”