No Shortage of Local News Candidates for ‘Screw-Ups of the Year’

By Mark Joyella 

Greene at DeskGang signs, profane on-air resignations, crime scene selfies, and sloppy breaking news Twitter. Local stations from Florida to Alaska and back to Florida–of course–are among the candidates for NewsLab’s “Screw-Ups of the Year” competition. And the polls are open.

If you’re a frequent flier here at TVSpy, you won’t be surprised by any of the nominees, least of all former Alaska reporter Charlo Greene, who decided to say “f-it” on air and walk off the set mid-story in one of the most watched local news resignations in memory. But was that really the screw-up of the year?

Maybe it was KSTP’s bombshell report suggesting the mayor of Minneapolis had dropped “gang signs” in a get-out-the-vote photo op with a supporter. The story, forever to be known as Pointergate, led to merciless mockery of the station and reporter Jay Kolls.


Or was it WBFF’s “Kill a Cop” story, suggesting peaceful protesters had chanted “Kill a Cop,” when in fact they had not. That led to an on-air apology with a protest leader appearing on set, and the Fox affiliate being slammed for being either sloppy or racist, depending on who was talking.

What’s your choice for 2014’s top screw-up?