It was a year ago that St. Louis station KMOV fired Anchor Larry Conners after he posted on Facebook that the IRS was targeting him because of an interview he did with President Obama.
It was then reveled that the IRS had been trying to collect the money that Conners owed him long before the Obama and interview and what Connors was saying was simple not true.
The station wisely decided to fire Connors and move on.
Connors is still on Facebook and is still taking every chance he can get to attack KMOV GM Mark Pimentel and then News Director Sean McLaughlin.
Connors basically pleads with his Facebook fans to go to KMOV's FB page and post support messages for him and to trash the station's social media page.
Over the past few days, Connors has posted 3 different items to FB attacking the station.
What Connors did not point out that since he left the station, the shows that he was anchoring have gone up in the ratings.
He is his latest rant about the station he posted to the social media site:
KMOV’S MISSED OPPORTUNITY
Last year, a few weeks after KMOV General Manager Mark Pimentel and News Director Sean McLaughlin unjustly fired me … the company asked if we would be willing to settle the dispute.
We agreed, but a key issue was that KMOV could not hold me to a non-compete. Remember, I didn’t choose to leave. I was fired under a Facebook policy which the station later dropped when the National Labor Relations Board started investigating the policy’s legality.
So, what did KMOV propose as a “settlement”?
My attorneys would be paid $6,000 legal fees … laughable. I would be paid nothing … AND … I would still be under the non-compete for one year.
Yeah, that was KMOV’s offer of a “settlement”.
Of course, we rejected it.
A couple of months later, again, we all met to attempt a “settlement”. I was realistic and didn’t really expect anything to come of the meetings, but went in good faith. It didn’t take long to realize that KMOV was not acting in good faith so we walked out of the talks.
Recently, the Company asked us to state exactly what we wanted to settle the case.
I was ready to put everything behind me … follow Matthew’s words in the Bible… and “shake the dust” of this entire affair off my feet.
We proposed that we would seek no damages for firing me because of age.
We would seek no damages for threats made against me by Pimentel and McLaughlin. (*)
We would drop all claims of how I was denied a 3 year contract which was given to other anchors.
We would drop claims that I was also a victim of retaliation.
We would seek no damages for demoting me while I was out for surgery on a work comp injury … violating the Family Medical Leave Act …and other issues.
We would drop the Defamation Suit for remarks Pimentel, McLaughlin and others made … trying to destroy my reputation and future.
We would ask the court to review and decide attorney’s fees.
What money did I want? I only wanted to be paid for the remaining part of my contract … less than 2 years.
Those were more than fair terms to put all this behind for both parties … end the battle and stop the legal fees for both sides.
We also agreed that any details of a settlement would not be public.
The non-compete was going to be up within 6 weeks; so, we agreed to drop that argument since it would soon be a moot issue.
Here is where the Company made another mistake in dealing with me.
The Company rejected … everything.
In other words, the Company would rather spend more time and more money on attorneys to attack and punish me rather than simply pay me the balance of a contract.
Keep in mind, even though the Company dropped the Facebook Policy used to fire me --- the Company refuses to admit any wrong doing.
To me, this underscores a vindictive and malicious desire to destroy me … trying to financially hurt my family … beyond any sense of civility.
Now that the non-compete is over … the Company lost what could have been a bargaining chip to reach some kind of settlement.
Now, I have no desire, no motivation to talk any settlement.
We will move forward seeking damages on everything: violating the Equal Employment Act, firing me under a “policy” which violated the National Labor Relations Board rules, violating my Family Medical Leave and Workers’ Comp rights by demoting me while I was recovering from surgery, for threats management made against me and for defaming me.
This won’t be ended anytime soon, but that’s okay, because I no longer care.
As I’ve said in previous posts (read the two previous posts in case you missed them), as anxious as I am to return to the St. Louis airwaves, I still have to put the right deal together that benefits all parties. Also, I don’t want to take a job away from someone currently employed.
I’ll keep you posted.
After reading this, you might be thinking it really would have been a smart move for the Company to accept my last settlement offer.
You are right, but just in case I haven’t been clear: I have never said any of those involved …was smart.
(* General Manager Mark Pimentel and News Director Sean McLaughlin called me to a meeting shortly after I had returned from my second surgery for a job related injury. I was told that I would no longer be the 10pm Prime Newscast Anchor; a job I had for 28 years.
McLaughlin said that I should tell the public that while on Family Medical Leave I decided that I liked being off at 10pm and “chose” to leave the Premier Newscast. I told him, “That’s your lie, and I’m not selling it for you.”
At that point, Pimentel reminded me that I had a contract renewal coming up and suggested it would not be wise for me to publicly condemn their decision. I looked directly at Pimentel and asked, “Are you threatening me before we even start contract talks?” He quickly backed down and insisted that wasn’t his intention. I know it was, and the threat was already uttered.
Suddenly, Pimentel realized that not only had he crossed a line … but that I was not scared of his threat.
The record will show that from that time in February until I was wrongfully fired just before Memorial Day last year … I never talked to reporters, wrote on Facebook nor used any public forum to complain about my demotion. My decision was not because of Pimentel’s threat, but rather my hope that we would resolve the issue.
That was stupid on my part … Pimentel and McLaughlin just looked for another way to get rid of me.
Somehow, Pimentel is still the General Manager at KMOV; McLaughlin jumped ship after convincing another broadcast group that he knows what he is doing. Wonder if McLaughlin will talk behind the backs of his new bosses as he did with Pimentel?)