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Report Sheds Light on the Turmoil at WHYY

The report states that the radio station has lost half of its journalists since last February.

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A report from the Philadelphia Inquirer shares the turmoil behind the scenes at the Philadelphia NPR outlet WHYY-FM (90.9). The newspaper states that the radio station has lost half of its journalists since last February.

The Inquirer says 34 journalists signed a note to management in February 2021 complaining of inadequate organization, lack of communication, and a priority on shorter stories. “Inspiration, communication, and morale are low, while burnout, siloing, and attrition are high,” the letter said.

A year later, the newspaper reports that half of those journalists have left the company. Since the beginning of 2021, at least 25 newsroom staffers have departed or have provided notice of their intent to leave.

“The desire to retain our talented colleagues was one of the many reasons we formed a union and fought so hard for our first contract,” a statement from SAG-AFTRA read. “But WHYY has not addressed all the underlying issues contributing to turnover.”

After completing interviews with those who worked or are currently employed at the radio station, the Inquirer says ten former and six current employees cited various reasons why they left or plan to go should a better opportunity arise. 

Low pay, lack of advancement opportunities, a directive for shorter stories, and a feeling that management is not committed to podcasts and new approaches to journalism are some of the reasons as to why they have left or are planning to do so in the future.

The Inquirer report points out that WHYY verified 19 newsroom departures in 2021. The station started 2021 with 51 people attributed to the newsroom. That works out to a 37% turnover rate. So far this year, an added six people have departed or are about to leave. That lifts the rate to 49% since Jan. 1, 2021

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Frank MacKay Named President of WABC’s Long Island Division

MacKay has hosted a daily show on JVC Media’s “LI News Radio” 103.9 WRCN Riverhead since 2012

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Red Apple Media is attempting to grow its reach outside the tri-state area. The company has named Frank MacKay as President of its Long Island Division, helping to expand Conservative Talk 770 WABC New York and 107.1 WLIR Hampton Bays.

John Catsimatidis, Chairman/CEO of Red Apple Media and 77 WABC Radio, purchased WLIR 107.1 to grow the reach of 77 WABC Radio to the east end of Long Island in 2020.

Furthermore, MacKay is familiar with the market the Long Island market. The chairman of the Independence Party of New York State has hosted a daily show on JVC Media’s “LI News Radio” 103.9 WRCN Riverhead since 2012 that was also syndicated to JVC’s Florida markets.

“Frank MacKay has longstanding knowledge of Long Island media, government, and politics, which will be an asset to this station. We are excited to expand and enhance 77 WABC Radio’s presence on Long Island,” Catsimatidis said in a statement relayed by Radio Insight

After two years of securing the station, the company is beginning to garner an audience outside the city. Catsimatidis adds that MacKay’s background in radio and television made him the ideal candidate for Red Apple Media. 

“Frank Mackay has been a longtime fixture on television and radio,” the statement said.

“Throughout his award-winning career, MacKay has conducted over 5,000 interviews with high-profile individuals, ranging from professional athletes and celebrities to Presidents of the United States, Speakers of the House, and Senate Majority Leaders.”

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Mark Levin: Laura Ingraham “Has a Cork up Her Nose” About Dr. Mehmet Oz

Levin even took a shot at colleague Laura Ingraham saying she “has a cork up her nose” about this “perfectly legitimate conservative.”

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Fox News’ Mark Levin is coming to the defense of celebrity cardiothoracic surgeon-turned-Pennsylvania Senate candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz. 

Levin even took a shot at colleague Laura Ingraham saying she “has a cork up her nose” about this “perfectly legitimate conservative.” He didn’t mention the Fox News host’s name but referred to her by her time slot. 

“For some reason, the ten p.m.-er has a real hate-on for Oz,” Levin said, per The Wrap. “I don’t hate Oz. I don’t hate [Pennsylvania Senate candidate David] McCormick. I think they’re both terrific men. I don’t really hate any of these candidates.”

Levin speculated what Ingraham’s issue is with Oz since she isn’t from the state; however, he does say that some hosts feel they’re entitled to the power of a camera and that they know what’s best for certain states.

“But there’s something going on with the 10 p.m.-er. I’m a Pennsylvanian. 10 p.m.-er is not a Pennsylvanian. But some people, because they have a camera in their face, actually think they know what’s best for you without actually inquiring into it,” Levin added.

“Sounds like a perfectly nice guy, sounds like a perfectly legitimate conservative. No reason to tear the guy down, I don’t think — Do you Mr. Producer? And yet these people get these platforms; they think they’re so smart. 10 p.m.-er has a cork up her nose at this. I don’t know what the problem is.”

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WBEN Among the Local Outlets Leading Coverage on Buffalo Man Shooting

WBEN broadcast coverage of numerous press briefings Saturday and Sunday in addition to fielding phone calls from residents who were clearly shaken by Saturday’s events.

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Buffalo’s News Talk WBEN covered the horrific mass shooting at a Tops Market Saturday, leaving ten people dead. According to police, the attack was live-streamed on the social gaming platform Twitch.

The story captivated a national audience and quickly fueled debates about First Amendment rights as reports circulated that 18-year-old suspect Payton Gendron published a manifesto consistent with white supremacist ideology. 

WBEN broadcast coverage of numerous press briefings Saturday and Sunday in addition to fielding phone calls from residents who were shaken by Saturday’s events. Station reporters sought reaction from the scene speaking to Tops worker Fragrance Harris Stanfield who she’ll never forget the second gunshots ring out.

“I turned around to tell my daughter how I was feeling, and we heard gunshots,” Standfield told the website. “We weren’t sure they were here at our building, so everyone stopped and turned and looked for the front door.”

WBEN spoke to Buffalo attorney Paul Cambria who discussed the challenges of monitoring social media platforms to thwart future attacks. 

“They’re really no controls on social media speech,” Cambria said. “Twitter and Facebook and so on people can live stream things without the government telling them no you can do this and do that.”

Cambria alluded to certain Facebook rules where users can end up in “Facebook jail” for violating community standards but reiterated there are no specifics safeguards in place to prevent attacks like the one we witnessed on Saturday.

“That is a company policy as opposed to one imposed by the government,” he added. 

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