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KATV News Director Nick Genty terminated, company says

by Brianna Kwasnik | September 24, 2021 at 2:13 p.m.
A KATV sign is shown in this file photo.

KATV News Director Nick Genty was fired from his position, Sinclair Broadcast Group confirmed Friday.

Sinclair Group Manager John Seabers said Genty was suspended Sept. 17, but declined to say when or why he was terminated, saying the date was “inconsequential" and that he does not comment on personnel matters. The Little Rock station is owned by the Sinclair Broadcast Group.

In a later email sent to the Democrat-Gazette, Seabers said: "It was determined through our investigation into the recent events at KATV that swift action was important to hold the responsible parties accountable."

KATV General Manager Mark Rose also said he could not comment on talent or personnel issues, but confirmed in an email to the newspaper that Genty was terminated "effective immediately."

Genty did not respond to a Twitter message asking for comment.

The station received criticism after an anchor appeared on air wearing an afro wig, to "celebrate" 70 degree weather, according to a Twitter post from Dorothy Tucker, president of the National Association of Black Journalists.

Tucker said a member from the local chapter notified the national organization.

Seabers said the company will implement further training for sensitivity and workplace conduct to ensure incidents like this don’t happen again.

According to Tucker, station managers met with the Central Arkansas Association of Black Journalists and she listened in. The nature of the meeting was not disclosed.

Tucker said she would schedule a meeting with Sinclair leadership for next week.

"We have had meetings with both the National and Local chapters of NABJ [National Association of Black Journalists], and we will continue an open line of communication," Rose said.

Genty served as the news director at KATV since February 2011, according to his LinkedIn page. Prior to being hired at KATV, he worked as an executive producer at KTHV, a station owned by Tegna Inc.

Regional News Director Blaise Labbe will serve as the news director for KATV in an interim capacity, Seabers said.

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