The Tighten Up  | American Journalism Review
 AJR  The Beat
From AJR,   September 2002

The Tighten Up   

Two longtime television news directors in Portland, Oregon--John Sears of KPTV and Dan Acklen of KPDX--lose their jobs when the stations become a duopoly.

By Catherine Matacic
Catherine Matacic is a former editorial assistant at AJR.     

The formation of a television station duopoly in Portland, Oregon, costs two veteran news directors their jobs. John Sears of Fox affiliate KPTV and Dan Acklen of Meredith Corp.'s KPDX say they got fired after Meredith acquired KPTV in a trade with Fox Television Stations. Sears, who spent more than 20 years at KPTV, including a decade as news director, had just guided the newsroom through an August 2001 ownership change from Chris Craft to Fox. "Part of the objective that I had was to try to keep the staff intact as much as humanly possible," says Sears, a past chairman of the Radio-Television News Directors Association. "It sometimes took a Herculean effort." Meredith brought in News Director Troy McGuire from KTVN in Reno in early July to run a combined newsroom, shutting down the news operation at KPDX, a UPN affiliate. McGuire, 32, says the pooling of resources makes the stations more competitive against the Big Three stations.



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