ABC affiliate WSYX in Columbus aired a half-hour “election special” twice on Monday night — first at 6:30 p.m. instead of World News with Diane Sawyer, and later at 11:30 p.m., during the slot normally held by Nightline. Rather than a side by side comparison of the two major party candidates, however, the special featured some of the most partisan criticisms of President Barack Obama, and spent relatively little time examining Republican nominee Mitt Romney.
Monday night, TPM spoke with newsroom employees at WSYX and WRGT, a Fox affiliate in Dayton. Both employees said the stations aired the specials with content produced by Sinclair. Before transferring a TPM reporter to the voicemail of WSYX’s General Manager Dan Mellon, a WSYX newsroom staff member who didn’t give his name said Sinclair’s corporate office in Baltimore “put it all together,” referring to the special.If you work as a reporter for these stations, how do you not resign immediately and still live with yourself?
Cara Neace, a newsroom employee with WRGT, said an election special was scheduled to run at 10:30 p.m. on Monday. Neace said WRGT had received “packages” for the special from Sinclair, but that it was common for Sinclair affiliates to receive and share each other’s content.
“This happens all the time when we get stuff from Baltimore or Columbus,” Neace said.