WACH GM Called Out After Story About Tow Company

By Kevin Eck 

A WACH story about a company towing cars out of a local parking lot has raised questions whether the story was about a tow company taking advantage of local drivers or a hit piece by the Columbia, S.C. FOX affiliate’s general manager.

According to the story, Schroeder’s Towing of Columbia had been towing cars out of a parking lot close to local restaurants. The story made it appear as if the towing company was preying on unsuspecting visitors.

But after the story aired, towing company owner Chris Schroeder claimed on his Facebook page, the station only did the story because WACH GM Allison Aldridge had been towed from the lot on January 10, and, he says, he refused Aldridge’s offer to drop the story if she got her car back.


Below is Schroeder’s post containing video of the story.

Schroeder says there are 19 signs warning drivers they can only park in the lot in question if they patronize the restaurants posted on the signs. On the day Aldridge was towed, a parking attendant saw her walk into a restaurant not on the posted list.

TVSpy asked Aldridge about the allegations. Here’s the response we got: “As an advocacy news department, we air stories that are initiated from viewer concern and in the best interest of the general public. The car seen being towed [in the story] is owned by a patron of Carolina Strip Club who was improperly towed. Schroeder Towing promptly returned her car. I was not interviewed for this story. I am in no way shifting blame, just supporting my news team with what we experienced first-hand. I appreciate you watching our channel.”

The commenters on Schroeder’s Facebook page are siding with the towing company: “Typical biased reporting. So, lets BLAME Schroeder’s Towing because YOU can not read and want to have special authority. Yeah, so much for trusting you for accurate reporting of the news,” wrote one commenter.

The station is also accused of posting the story to its website, then pulling it down as soon as the Facebook reaction started.

In the story, WACH reporter Amber Lynn Pennycuff says the station reached out to Schroeder. But he disputes that, telling TVSpy he called Aldridge five times, but never heard from her or the station.