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Jeff Burnside, NBC Miami WTVJ Reporter, Fired Over Edited George Zimmerman 911 Call

Posted: 04/25/2012 6:54 pm Updated: 04/26/2012 8:13 pm

A veteran NBC Miami reporter has been fired in the ongoing probe over an edited "Today" show clip of George Zimmerman's 911 call, placed moments before Zimmerman shot unarmed teen Trayvon Martin.

Jeff Burnside was dismissed from network-owned NBC Miami (WTVJ) over a similarly edited clip on Friday, as first reported by South Florida news blog SFLTV.

According to the Miami Herald, two unidentified employees were also disciplined.

NBC Miami said in an "edit explanation" posted Wednesday evening that it broadcast the edited call March 19, confirming it ran several days before the controversial "Today" clip -- which according to Poynter's MediaWire blog was not generated at NBC Miami but at NBC's Southeastern headquarters, which are also in Miami.

“As anybody in the news business knows, something that seems very clear is often very, very complicated,” Burnside told Mediawire when reached by phone on Wednesday.

NBC launched its internal investigation over the "Today" show segment after admitting an "error...that we deeply regret." Reports the Associated Press:

NBC's "Today" show first aired the edited version of Zimmerman's call on March 27. The recording viewers heard was trimmed to suggest that Zimmerman volunteered to police, with no prompting, that Martin was black: "This guy looks like he's up to no good. He looks black."

But the portion of the tape that was deleted had the 911 dispatcher asking Zimmerman if the person who had raised his suspicion was "black, white or Hispanic," to which Zimmerman responded, "He looks black."

NBC Miami said in its statement that the Burnside segment also omitted the dispatcher's question.

Earlier this month NBC fired a producer over the "Today" broadcast, which fanned some pundits' accusations that media outlets rushed to judgment in the case before all information was available.

According to the SFLTV report, an insider said several employees at NBC Miami and NBC news including an editor or photographer were questioned before the network concluded Burnside was ultimately responsible for the misleading edits on NBC Miami's clip and fired him on Friday.

Burnside filed at least 9 stories on the Martin case for NBC Miami, including an interview with activist Rev. Al Sharpton (apparently since removed) and at least one live report from Sanford where the 17-year-old Martin was shot walking through the gated neighborhood of his father's girlfriend.

Biographies published online note Burnside, who has won several regional Emmy awards and is widely respected for his coverage of environmental issues, began working for NBC Miami in 1999.

Editor's note: In the interest of full disclosure, HuffPost editor Janie Campbell, who wrote this entry, used to work at NBC Miami and with Jeff Burnside. She left the station months before the Trayvon Martin shooting.

Earlier on HuffPost:

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  • Miami Rally To Honor Trayvon Martin

    MIAMI, FL - APRIL 01: Mohawk Gaz wears a picture of Trayvon Martin in his hair as he and other supporters gather for a rally in his honor at the Bayfront Amphitheater on April 1, 2012 in Miami, Florida. Martin was killed by George Michael Zimmerman who was on neighborhood watch patrol in the gated community of The Retreat at Twin Lakes, Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

  • MIAMI, FL - APRIL 01: Tamarii Cummings and his mother Patricia Cummings, who are related to Trayvon Martin, pray along with other supporters as they gather during a rally in Trayvon's honor at the Bayfront Amphitheater on April 1, 2012 in Miami, Florida. Martin was killed by George Michael Zimmerman who was on neighborhood watch patrol in the gated community of The Retreat at Twin Lakes, Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

  • Clifford Combry holds his daughter, Harmony, on his shoulders as thousands gather for a rally demanding justice for Trayvon Martin in downtown Miami, Sunday, April 1, 2012. (AP Photo/J Pat Carter)

  • Briona Jones and Sara Smith, right, comfort each other as thousands gathered in downtown Miami, Sunday, April 1, 2012, demanding justice for Trayvon Martin during a rally that featured national civil rights leaders. The rally comes a day after thousands marched through Sanford, the Florida town where Martin, 17, was shot and killed in February. Protesters say they will continue holding marches and rallies until an arrest is made. (AP Photo/J Pat Carter)

  • Members of the audience hold signs of support as thousands gathered in downtown Miami, Sunday, April 1, 2012, demanding justice for Trayvon Martin during a rally that featured national civil rights leaders.The rally comes a day after thousands marched through Sanford, the Florida town where 17-year-old Martin was shot and killed in February. Protesters say they will continue holding marches and rallies until an arrest is made. (AP Photo/J Pat Carter)

  • MIAMI, FL - APRIL 01: Rev. Al Sharpton speaks at a rally in honor of Trayvon Martin at the Bayfront Amphitheater on April 1, 2012 in Miami, Florida. Martin was killed by George Michael Zimmerman who was on neighborhood watch patrol in the gated community of The Retreat at Twin Lakes, Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

  • MIAMI, FL - APRIL 01: The parents of Trayvon Martin, Tracy Martin (L) and Sybrina Fulton (2nd R) stand with the Rev. Al Sharpton (C) and Rev. Jesse Jackson (far R) as they all attend a rally in his honor at the Bayfront Amphitheater on April 1, 2012 in Miami, Florida. Martin was killed by George Michael Zimmerman who was on neighborhood watch patrol in the gated community of The Retreat at Twin Lakes, Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

  • MIAMI, FL - APRIL 01: Singer, Chaka Khan (R), hugs Sybrina Fulton the mother of Trayvon Martin as they attend a rally in his honor at the Bayfront Amphitheater on April 1, 2012 in Miami, Florida. Martin was killed by George Michael Zimmerman who was on neighborhood watch patrol in the gated community of The Retreat at Twin Lakes, Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

  • Florida Political Leaders Hold Rally To Honor Trayvon Martin In Miami

    MIAMI, FL - APRIL 01: With Rev. Al Sharpton (in gray suit) urging people to donate money a worker holds out a bucket for people to put money into as they attend a rally in honor of Trayvon Martin at the Bayfront Amphitheater on April 1, 2012 in Miami, Florida. Martin was killed by George Michael Zimmerman who was on neighborhood watch patrol in the gated community of The Retreat at Twin Lakes, Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

  • MIAMI, FL - APRIL 01: Trayvon Martin supporters gather for a rally in his honor at the Bayfront Amphitheater on April 1, 2012 in Miami, Florida. Martin was killed by George Michael Zimmerman who was on neighborhood watch patrol in the gated community of The Retreat at Twin Lakes, Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

  • MIAMI, FL - APRIL 01: Trayvon Martin supporters gather for a rally in his honor at the Bayfront Amphitheater on April 1, 2012 in Miami, Florida. Martin was killed by George Michael Zimmerman who was on neighborhood watch patrol in the gated community of The Retreat at Twin Lakes, Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

  • MIAMI, FL - APRIL 01: Emma Dagust and her daughter, Arielle Dagust, holds a sign as they and other Trayvon Martin supporters gather for a rally in his honor at the Bayfront Amphitheater on April 1, 2012 in Miami, Florida. Martin was killed by George Michael Zimmerman who was on neighborhood watch patrol in the gated community of The Retreat at Twin Lakes, Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

  • MIAMI, FL - APRIL 01: Trayvon Martin supporters gather for a rally in his honor at the Bayfront Amphitheater on April 1, 2012 in Miami, Florida. Martin was killed by George Michael Zimmerman who was on neighborhood watch patrol in the gated community of The Retreat at Twin Lakes, Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

  • MIAMI, FL - APRIL 01: Susana Diaz holds a sign as she and other Trayvon Martin supporters gather for a rally in his honor at the Bayfront Amphitheater on April 1, 2012 in Miami, Florida. Martin was killed by George Michael Zimmerman who was on neighborhood watch patrol in the gated community of The Retreat at Twin Lakes, Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

  • MIAMI, FL - APRIL 01: Jazmen Nelson and other Trayvon Martin supporters gather for a rally in his honor at the Bayfront Amphitheater on April 1, 2012 in Miami, Florida. Martin was killed by George Michael Zimmerman who was on neighborhood watch patrol in the gated community of The Retreat at Twin Lakes, Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

  • MIAMI, FL - APRIL 01: Emma Dagust and her daughter, Arielle Dagust, as they and other Trayvon Martin supporters gather for a rally in his honor at the Bayfront Amphitheater on April 1, 2012 in Miami, Florida. Martin was killed by George Michael Zimmerman who was on neighborhood watch patrol in the gated community of The Retreat at Twin Lakes, Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

  • MIAMI, FL - APRIL 01: Trayvon Martin supporters gather for a rally in his honor at the Bayfront Amphitheater on April 1, 2012 in Miami, Florida. Martin was killed by George Michael Zimmerman who was on neighborhood watch patrol in the gated community of The Retreat at Twin Lakes, Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

  • MIAMI, FL - APRIL 01: Audrey Paul holds a sign as she and Trayvon Martin supporters gather for a rally in his honor at the Bayfront Amphitheater on April 1, 2012 in Miami, Florida. Martin was killed by George Michael Zimmerman who was on neighborhood watch patrol in the gated community of The Retreat at Twin Lakes, Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

  • MIAMI, FL - APRIL 01: Trayvon Martin supporters gather for a rally in his honor at the Bayfront Amphitheater on April 1, 2012 in Miami, Florida. Martin was killed by George Michael Zimmerman who was on neighborhood watch patrol in the gated community of The Retreat at Twin Lakes, Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

  • MIAMI, FL - APRIL 01: Rev. Al Sharpton (L) sits with the parents of Trayvon Martin, Tracy Martin (C) and Sybrina Fulton (R) as they all attend a rally in honor of Trayvon at the Bayfront Amphitheater on April 1, 2012 in Miami, Florida. Martin was killed by George Michael Zimmerman who was on neighborhood watch patrol in the gated community of The Retreat at Twin Lakes, Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

  • MIAMI, FL - APRIL 01: Singer, Chaka Khan, attends a rally in honor of Trayvon Martin at the Bayfront Amphitheater on April 1, 2012 in Miami, Florida. Martin was killed by George Michael Zimmerman who was on neighborhood watch patrol in the gated community of The Retreat at Twin Lakes, Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

  • MIAMI, FL - APRIL 01: The parents of Trayvon Martin (L-R) Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton stand with the Rev. Jesse Jackson (C) as they all attend a rally in his honor at the Bayfront Amphitheater on April 1, 2012 in Miami, Florida. Martin was killed by George Michael Zimmerman who was on neighborhood watch patrol in the gated community of The Retreat at Twin Lakes, Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

  • '"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere"-MLK'

  • 'Yvette Grier brought her boys with signs and hoodies to the rally for #trayvonmartin'

  • 'Ends with balloon release and Rep Frederica Wilson saying, "we love you Trayvon."'

  • Diana Moskovitz

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Filed by Janie Campbell  |