WJLA-TV fires veteran anchor Doug McKelway, cites insubordination, misconduct
By Paul Farhi
Friday, September 17, 2010; C04
WJLA-TV [the ABC affiliate in Washington, DC] has fired veteran anchorman Doug McKelway for a verbal confrontation this summer with the station’s news director that came after McKelway broadcast a sharply worded live report about congressional Democrats and President Obama.
McKelway was placed on indefinite suspension in late July after his run-in with ABC7′s news director and general manager, Bill Lord. In a letter to McKelway this week, the station said it was terminating his contract immediately, citing insubordination and misconduct.
Amid the ongoing BP oil spill in July, McKelway covered a Capitol Hill demonstration by environmental groups protesting the influence of oil-industry contributions to members of Congress.
In his piece, McKelway said the sparsely attended event attracted protesters "largely representing far-left environmental groups." He went on to say the protest "may be a risky strategy because the one man who has more campaign contributions from BP than anybody else in history is now sitting in the Oval Office, President Barack Obama, who accepted $77,051 in campaign contributions from BP."
Part of what he reported that upset his bosses at ABC.
After a brief taped segment updating efforts to cap the BP well, McKelway added that the Senate was unlikely to pass "cap-and-trade" legislation this year, because "the Democrats are looking at the potential for huge losses in Congress come the midterm elections. And the last thing they want to do is propose a huge escalation in your electric bill, your utility bill, before then."
More unacceptable reporting.
Lord took exception to McKelway’s reporting and asked to meet with him, according to several station sources who were granted anonymity to discuss the sensitive personnel matter. A shouting match between the two men ensued, leading to McKelway’s suspension, sources said…