Sonya Heitshusen Loses Age Discrimination Lawsuit Against Nexstar

By Kevin Eck 

Former Des Moines anchor Sonya Heitshusen has lost her age discrimination lawsuit after an eight-day trial.

Heitshusen had been at Des Moines, Iowa NBC affiliate WHO for 17 years when she said she was denied an on-air contract in 2020.

She filed an age and gender discrimination lawsuit against the station and parent company, Nexstar, alleging a widespread practice of removing older, female staffers from the air because of their looks.


The jury returned a verdict in favor of the defendants on Wednesday afternoon.

“I lost my profession because I was over 50 years old and made too much money,” Heitshusen said in a statement following the verdict. “I was not the first and will not be the last woman to suffer this fate, but I am not giving up. I will continue to support my colleagues and other women who face the same age and gender discrimination. The fight is not over.”

Heitshusen is currently the public information officer for the Iowa Auditor of State.