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Fox TV Ad Staff Selling Features

July 23, 1999

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) _ A salesperson blamed by a Fox television affiliate for offering to produce ``positive″ news stories for $15,000 no longer works for the company, the station owner said.

The advertising sales staff at WDSI in Chattanooga had told businesses the stories would be broadcast on the station’s news programs. The station scrapped the promotion this month after local businesses complained.

``This entire offer was against company policy and had never been approved by the station’s news department,″ said David Janecek, vice president of news for Pegasus Broadcast Television, a Pennsylvania-based company that owns Fox-61.

He called the incident an ``extreme example of unacceptable sales aggressiveness, not an issue of journalistic integrity.″

The station began broadcasting news shows this year for the first time.

Janecek would not identify the salesperson Thursday. He said future advertising promotions will be cleared by the station executives.

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