Gannett Broadcasting’s director of recruiting and VP of News at Denver-based KUSA-TV warned employees that only the company’s president and communications VP are permitted to speak to the press about the Brian Williams situation:
From: Dennis, Patti
Date: February 11, 2015 at 6:01:34 AM PST
To: Gannett Broadcast News Directors
Subject: Brian Williams
Please be aware no one should be talking to the press about NBC’s decision. [Gannett Broadcasting president] Dave Lougee and [corporate communications veep] Jeremy Gaines are the only ones to address this outside of our organizations. Please refer all inquiries to Dave Lougee.
Please make sure your staff knows. Also, be very thoughtful with posts and tweets.
What’s funny about this is that they are banning employees from speaking to the press—a questionable move by a media organization—all while asking them to be “thoughtful” with their social media posts, which the media will be able to read.
Gannett owns a dozen NBC TV affiliates, so they are obviously very anxious to put the best possible message out on what has been a public relations disaster for NBC. But this action seems to be silly and heavy-handed.