News Director Sickened by Proposed Hospital Agreement

"I could not with a clear conscience go into that newsroom and tell the staff that this was a good thing," explained former WEAU-13 news director Glen Mabie. Mabie resigned from the northwest Wisconsin television station "because of a disagreement ... regarding coverage of medical topics." WEAU's management "attempted in recent weeks to negotiate a deal with Sacred Heart Hospital in which TV-13 would run medical stories featuring personnel from that hospital and its affiliates but not employees of other Chippewa Valley hospitals or clinics." Mabie said, "My problem with this is it was going to dictate newsroom content." This week, after an official with WEAU owner Gray Television "met with the station's staff ... the company decided not to proceed with the agreement." Mabie "said he hopes to land a communications or marketing job but acknowledged his future is uncertain."


Columbia Journalism Review has an [ interview with Glen Mabie] on their website:

Before the decision was made, there were a number of people in the newsroom that certainly didn't want to see this happen. And they're the real heroes in this, because they really stood up against this and caused enough of a ruckus about it that the proposal was ended. As far as since it's happened, it's unbelievable the amount of support I've received from people around the country. I've heard from people from as far away as California and Florida saying, "Thank you for standing up." I have to admit, I didn't think an issue like this in little ol' Eau Claire, Wisconsin, would end up being as big a deal within the industry as it seems to have become.