Our Tracy Rowlett cover story was reported without the benefit of comment from WFAA. If our readers found it odd that a media organization would stonewall the media, so did we.
But the stonewalling stopped when the station was deluged with mail from angry viewers. D Magazine reader Larry McCoy was kind enough to forward the e-mail he received from one Johna Neal-Baker at WFAA. which 1 reproduce here in the interest of fair play:
SUBJECT: D Magazine
Thank you for taking time to write WFAA regarding the recent D Magazine article on former WFAA news anchor Tracy Rowlett Throughout the 25 years of Mr, Rowlett’s employment with WFAA, we did many things to express his importance to the station and our concern and support for him in dealing with his autistic son.
We try to deal fairly with all of our employees. However, when the contracts of our anchors and reporters expire, we must enter into business negotiations with them. Mr. Rowlett was one of the highest compensated individuals at our station and in the Dallas-Fort Worth market. Although it is our policy not to disclose information involving specific individuals’ salaries or contract terms, we believe our offer to Mr. Rowlett, which included raises and bonus opportunities, was a very good one. We understand, though, that he ultimately had to do what he felt was best for himself and his family.
We regret that Mr. Rowlett chose to challenge the non-competition provision of his contract in a very public way.The decision in the recent arbitration hearing upheld this provision, which is an important component of the contracts of anchors and reporters in Dallas/FortWorth and in the broadcast industry generally.
Because the matter had already been resolved in an arbitration hearing,WFAA chose not to comment for the D Magazine article.We were also concerned because Mary Brown Malouf, executive editor of D Magazine, is the sister-in-law of Steve Malouf, Mr. Rowlett’s attorney. As you probably understand, there is a difference of opinion regarding much of the material the article contained.
For 50 years,WFAA has worked diligently on behalf of north Texans supplying important news and information. It is a commitment that exists throughout the station. We hope you will reconsider your decision and continue to make WFAA your choice for breaking news and programming. Thank you for taking the time to express your thoughts to us.
In addition to asserting its good intentions, which is to be expected, the station asserts a conflict of interest. The assertion is untrue, and 1 have put the station on notice that it is untrue. Mary Malouf s husband and Steve Malouf do indeed share a last name. As it happens, they also share a great-great-greatgrandfather. That makes them, as best as I can count, fifth cousins. I checked with both Maloufs in question. and they haven’t seen or spoken to one another in three years, since they ran into each other at a social function. This is what passes for a defense at a news organization that once ranked among the nation’s best. I’d advise readers to judge the rest of its communiqué accordingly.
Puzzle Page Returns
With great pride I welcome Peggy Olgesby Allison back to the pages of D Magazine. Aficionados will recall that Peggy graced our pages and frustrated puzzlers for four years in die ’80s with her exquisite brainteasers. She returns by popular demand, and she’s sure not only to improve our intellectual content but to exercise the right sides of our readers’ brains. The new puzzle is introduced on page 160.
Peggy Allison is no relation, unless she’s a fifth-cousin-by-marriage that 1 didn’t know about, but Christine Allison is. She’s the publisher’s wife and the author of ten books .Her first contribution to D Magazine is on page 21.
All these Allisons and Maloufs! Somebody needs to check the Internet for a Scottish/Lebanese conspiracy.