Archive for the ‘Sunny Meriweather’ Category

Sunny Meriwether Lands Radio Newswriting Gig


We got word the other day that one of the area’s most recognizable radio voices – Sunny Meriwether – landed a new job working in radio again, although not on the air. Meriwether is “stringing” for Metro Networks, a subsidiary of Westwood One Radio Network writing morning drive news summaries for the company’s Alabama and Arkansas affiliate stations.

In an email to Lincoln Parish News Online (LPNO), Meriwether wrote, “It’s great to be doing what I love to do again, even though it doesn’t entail any on-air work.” She noted that she can work from home, or anywhere else that has internet access.

She wrote that she will still work with Louisiana Road Trips magazine, a West Monroe publication that promotes people, places and events around the state.

Meriwether was formerly news director of KEDM 90.3 public radio in Monroe.


Sunny Meriwether Speaks Out


Sunny Meriwether, former news director at KEDM, northeast Louisiana’s National Public Radio (NPR) affiliate, has publicly spoken out about her dismissal last year. In a letter to the editor of the Springfield (Missouri) News-Leader, Meriwether said she “felt pressure” to air stories favorable to the University of Louisiana at Monroe (ULM), and thinks that ULM President James Cofer approved her firing.

I would like to clarify some information in the story titled “Cofer next MSU president,” dated May 15. Jim Cofer is correct in that I was never asked or pressured to air “infomercials” to recruit students to ULM (University of Louisiana at Monroe), nor (to my knowledge) was anyone else at the station. However, I certainly felt pressure, usually unverbalized but real nonetheless, to air stories favorable to ULM. I suppose that when one is employed by an institution which one also covers, such pressure is inevitable.

I cannot tell you why I lost my job last July; I was employed “at the pleasure of the president” and thus could be “terminated without cause.” I was, and no one would tell me why. The person who signed my termination letter was Dean of Arts and Sciences Jeffrey Cass, not Dr. Cofer, but I do believe that Dr. Cofer must have approved the job action.

Archived stories on the Meriwether controversy can be found here.

Griffin Scott to be on Fox & Friends Saturday


Griffin Scott, former KTVE news anchor will be on Fox & Friends Saturday morning at 8:20 am, September 5.

The Dead Pelican has the details.

UPDATE: 4:15 am, 9/5/09

Johnny Gunter has this story in today’s News-Star.

Meriweather, Scott to Host Radio Show


We received this story via email late last night.

TALK 540 KMLB ALERT: Griffin Scott, Sunny Meriweather to host news radio show!

Griffin Scott, former senior evening anchor of KTVE-TV news in West Monroe, and Sunny Meriweather, former news director of KEDM-FM in Monroe, will host a news radio show on Talk 540 KMLB-AM from 5 to 6 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 31, 2009.

“No subject is off the table with this show, which is being called the ‘News Hour,'” said Rob Redding, program director of KMLB.

Meriweather and Scott come to Talk 540 KMLB as the station is celebrating 79 years of leading the region in radio news. The station is already the home of national talkers Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and statewide talker Moon Griffon.

LPNO had extensively reported on the dismissal of Meriwether by ULM President James Cofer.

Former KTVE anchor Griffin Scott’s story can be found at The Dead Pelican.

Bob Redding is Talk540 KMLB’s program director.

UPDATE: 1:00 pm

Griffin Scott, former KTVE news anchor, filed suit today against the parent company of the TV station, Nexstar Broadcasting. The Dead Pelican has the story.

Another Termination at KEDM


Lincoln Parish News Online has learned that another KEDM staffer was terminated today. Karen Pena’s last day is today. LPNO spoke with her moments ago and confirmed the story.

KEDM is also advertising for a News Director on their website. Note how closely the qualifications listed closely parallel those of Sunny Meriwether, terminated three weeks ago today.

It appears that ULM’s Maximum Leader ($252,000/yr) and his hand-picked factotum ($70,000/yr) won’t quit until the entire station is turned into a propaganda outlet for his administration.

Chicago PBS Station Made Videos for Pols


According to Chi-Town Daily News, the PBS television station at City Colleges of Chicago used its budget to produce free videos of powerful politicians and friends of the chancellor. The story says the videos were done by order of then-Chancellor Wayne Watson.

WYCC is licensed to the City Colleges of Chicago as an educational license, affiliated with the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS). When the station’s former manager complained about the political projects, she was fired, according to a lawsuit she has filed.

While not exactly like the situation concerning KEDM, Sunny Meriwether and ULM, we think this story is of interest to Sunny Meriwether fans.

More on Meriwether Termination


Lincoln Parish News Online has obtained copies of documents from the controversial termination of KEDM News Director Sunny Meriwether.

Here is the letter of termination.
Here is the Payroll Action Form.

Readers might legitimately ask why we would post these documents. We suppose the best answer would be that after fifty years of listening to public officials and politicians, we aren’t too interested in what they say.

But we damn sure want to see what is in the documents – those pieces of paper that actually control all our lives.

Talk is cheap. Show me the paperwork.

KEDM/Meriwether Update


I have nothing new to report on the controversy. However, we have noticed above normal web searches and traffic on the site.

That means you taxpayers are interested. Good.

Never forget that KEDM doesn’t belong to ULM or its Maximum Leader, employed by you and I at $252,886/year.

KEDM belongs to the taxpayers of Louisiana. Show them who is boss.

Morning Paper: “Cofer Fires KEDM’s Meriwether”


John Hay’s Morning Paper (email or snail mail subscription only) asserts that University of Louisiana at Monroe President James Cofer ($252,856/yr) was responsible for the termination of News Director Sunny Meriwether. Hays says Meriwether balked at administration requests to broadcast ‘infomercials’ to recruit students at the expense of public radio programs.

Reportedly, former General Manager Cynthia Pardue ran into the same problem and it led to her removal and installation of Joel Willer ($70,000/yr) as Director of University Broadcasting. We suppose that’s a little nicer title than Minister of Information.

The station does give Cofer a 15-minute question and answer show each Friday – a show at which Cofer dictates the topic and the questions that are asked.

College of Arts & Sciences Dean Jeffrey Cass ($126,000/yr) signed the termination letter. No one is hired or fired at ULM without Cofer’s OK, according to Hays.

At last night’s KEDM/Tonore’s Wine Cellar Beer Tasting event, we asked Willer and Community Advisor Board Chairman James Cuthbert, III if they had any comment. Neither would say anything beyond what was attributed to them in the Ouachita Citizen article yesterday.

The Board of Advisors is made up of area community members who counsel the station regarding the needs and interests of the audiences the station serves, advocates for the station by promoting its programs and assists with station fundraising.

Lincoln Parish News Online was able to visit with Sunny for bit last night, and we suggested that she should try and remain in the news business. As can be imagined, she’s a bit down over the events of the past week, but she did allow that already a couple of opportunities have come up. We hope to hear her voice on the radio again soon. She’s too good at what she does to not be.

There is a letter to the editor in today’s News-Star about the controversy.

We again want to point out the danger of government interference with the media. The King – or Maximum Leader, or however Power is labeled – always tries to control the message. It has been so throughout the history of mankind. It will always be so.

Sammy Hanna’s Take on KEDM


This morning, The Ouachita Citizen has this story on the firing of KEDM’s Sunny Meriwether. It looks like the official line a ULM is to build a Wall of Silence and hope it all blows over.

Tonight at 6 pm, Tonore’s Wine Cellar is hosting a Beer Tasting at which presumably will be various KEDM supporters.

Lincoln Parish News Online will be there, and will report reaction to the controversy.

John Hays’ Morning Paper (email or snail mail subscription only) is planning a front-page story for tomorrow’s edition, we are told.

What this is all about is government silencing voices they can’t control. Just as the Church was horrified at the prospect of Johan Guetenberg’s movable type machine printing Bibles for the masses, the Powers That Be at ULM cannot countenance dissension on campus.

Even when protected by the First Amendment.