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KTVA dumps two producers over 'Phonegate'

Jill Burke

Local CBS affiliate KTVA announced Tuesday afternoon via press release (.doc) that two producers are no longer with the station as a result of an accidental voice recording which captured newsroom staff discussing coverage plans for Joe Miller rally last Thursday.

"At no time did any of the elements associated with the recorded comments become part of any coverage or broadcast. The recorded conversation in question specifically involved how that evening's Miller rally might be promoted and the ensuing dialogue went downhill from there. These particular comments were not in line with KTVA standards," states KTVA General Manager Jerry Bever in the press release.

"As a result of this incident, the two producers involved in the recorded conversation are no longer with the station," he continued.

Bever also stated that neither KTVA news director Staci Feger nor assignment editor Nick McDermott or "any other KTVA reporters" were involved in the recorded conversation.

The Miller campaign and Sarah Palin had claimed the phone message proved that local media was out to get Miller. A report by Fox News, however, which reviewed KTVA's recent coverage, did not find bias in the station's reporting.

Contact Jill Burke at jill(at)alaskadispatch.com.