News Director Laying Down Some BS In Memo

 Dave Busiek

Dave Busiek

You know how sometimes TV management wants to 'diminish' a person's role, so they put out a memo that claims they're getting a 'promotion' to something really important? Sources tell us, that's exactly what's happening at Hearst's KCCI in Des Moines.

 Todd Magel

Todd Magel

Let's set this up for you. You're about to read a memo from ND Dave Busiek. While you read it, keep in mind, he's been there for 38 years. The memo talks about the re-assignment of reporter Todd Magel to 'Senior Reporter'. Todd has been at KCCI 35 years and is the weekend anchor (He's also married to the chief photographer).

Todd's replacement as weekend anchor, is just GRADUATING this month.

KCCI is also hiring a new producer who is GRADUATING this month. Of course, they want to figure out how to tie the rookie to Des Moines, so they let everyone know that while she 'hails' from Detroit, her godparents are in Des Moines. We're sure that'll keep her there for 35 years.

Here's some friendly advice to news managers: your staff is not as gullible as you think.


From: "Busiek, David A" <>
Date: May 3, 2017 at 12:03:17 PM CDT
To: KCCI All
Subject: News staffing


Several announcements regarding news staffing:


I have asked Todd Magel to take on a new assignment for us.  This summer, Todd will transition to a new role as our Senior Reporter, focusing on the day’s most important stories.


KCCI has always excelled at great reporting.  But in today’s competitive media environment, too much of what we produce is similar to what other news outlets are producing.  I feel we need more enterprise stories that give context and depth to what we cover.  As a result, I’ve asked Todd to take on a new assignment where he looks behind the scenes, and spends more time looking into the WHY of what is happening in our community.  Some of the time, his work will be investigative.  Some of the time, he will go more in-depth on the top story.  Some of the time, it will be landing an important interview that no one else thought of. I can’t think of anyone better suited for this assignment.  In more than 30 years at KCCI, Todd has a reputation for tough but fair reporting.  He has excellent contacts in the community.  He gets his phone calls returned.  His work as Senior Reporter can make our newscasts stand out above the crowd, with reporting that no one else can duplicate.


Of course, Todd has also been a strong anchor for us on weekend evenings.  His newscasts have won several Emmy’s.  And although he will continue to anchor for us in a substitute role, I’ve asked him to fully commit to this new reporting assignment.


As Todd moves to weekdays, I have hired Max Diekneite as an anchor/reporter.  Many of you met Max during his interview last month.  He is graduating this month from the University of Missouri.  I anticipate him spending several months with us as a reporter, starting around June 1st, learning the lay of the land.  Then sometime later this summer, likely after July sweeps, he would transition to weekend anchor and Todd will transition to his new reporting role.


In addition, we have hired Shannon Shaver as a news producer.  Shannon is graduating from the University of Missouri.  She will be producing weekend mornings and three weekday mornings per week.  I anticipate Shannon starting around May 22nd.  Shannon hails from Detroit, but is pleased that her godparents live here in Des Moines.


Lastly, Alex Kirkpatrick is moving from part-time to full-time status as a digital media editor.  Alex is a junior at Simpson College, and has done a great job managing our digital sites and social media at nights and on weekends.  We’re delighted to get back to three full-time positions on our digital/social team.  I expect Alex to begin full-time duties around the first of June.