…However, local anchor teams have long represented diversity in the community through a news couple of different race and gender, supplemented by reporters on the sports and weather beat and in the field. Even in the local context, however, gender distinctions are vital. The highly publicized case of Christine Kraft, anchor of KMBC-TV in Kansas City, Missouri illustrates the willingness of executives to dismiss women considered “too old” or “too unattractive” to fill this highly visible role. Such judgments are rarely, if ever, made in cases involving male anchors, who are seen to develop “authority” and “gravity” as their physical glamour fades…
There is the irony that their crosstown broadcast rivals, KSHB, are reporting the story:
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Three on-air personalities at KMBC-TV in Kansas City have filed a lawsuit against the station claiming age and sex discrimination.
The suit, filed in Jackson County Circuit Court, claims the three women have been passed over for promotions, or demoted, in favor of younger female candidates.
The plaintiffs, Kelly Eckerman, Margaret Breit, and Maria Albisu-Twyman, claim in the suit they have been “discriminated against and harassed, on a continuing basis, based on their age and/or gender (female)…”
It’s another addition to the sad commentary on the state of the media in our nation. It’s not about reporting the news any more, is it?
A little more history:
…In 1981, KMBC anchor Christine Craft was demoted to reporter because — in those immortal words of management she would later make the title of her book — she was told that she was “too old, too unattractive and wouldn’t defer to men.” Craft relayed those words to my predecessor, Barry Garron, who put them in the paper. Two years later, Craft filed suit and eventually prevailed, though an appeals court later overturned the decision. By then, however, it hardly mattered that KMBC won; it had gone straight into the toilet, ratings- and reputation-wise…