MEDIA
05/23/2013 08:48 am ET

Larry Conners, KMOV Anchor, Fired Over IRS Comments

KMOV

Local St. Louis news anchor Larry Conners was fired on Wednesday for what the station called "taking a personal political position [that created] an appearance of bias."

After news broke about the IRS targeting Tea Party groups during the 2012 election, Conners took to his KMOV Facebook page to air a personal concern about the scandal. According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Conners, who spent 27 years as an anchor at KMOV, suggested that he might have been targeted by the IRS after interviewing President Obama in 2012. Conners wrote:

I don’t accept 'conspiracy theories,' but I do know that almost immediately after the interview, the IRS started hammering me. ... Can I prove it? At this time, no. But it is a fact that since that April 2012 interview … the IRS has been pressuring me.

Though the anchor read a statement on air backtracking his comments, KMOV general manager Mark Pimentel posted a statement on the station's website announcing Conners' firing. It read:

(KMOV) -- We regret to announce that Larry Conners is no longer a KMOV news reporter. Larry was a valued member of KMOV for a long time, and we will miss him.

For KMOV, there is no higher cause than unbiased, objective news reporting. It is what our viewers expect and it is what we work very hard to deliver. We can accept no less. Larry is certainly entitled to his opinion, but taking a personal political position on one of the Station’s Facebook pages creates an appearance of bias that is inconsistent with important journalistic standards. Larry’s departure has nothing to do with the particular position he took, but it does have to do with our belief that his actions made it impossible for him to report for KMOV on certain political matters going forward without at least an appearance of bias. Bringing you accurate and unbiased reporting is the reason we exist.

Mark Pimentel
KMOV TV President & GM

(h/t St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

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