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Ageism & Sexism at a CT Fox Affiliate

July 8, 2009

This just in—a veteran political reporter at Connecticut’s Fox 61 has filed an age and gender discrimination complaint against the station with the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities (CHRO) and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), citing a “pattern of discrimination against older women at the station by demoting those over the age of 35 and paying some of the female reporters less than the male reporters,” according to an article in Connecticut News Junkie.  Shelly Sindland, who has been reporting for Fox 61 for over 14 years, details several egregious examples of sexism and ageism in the station’s practices in her complaint, including: •    Fox 61 News Director Bob Rockstroh’s statement that “Friday newscasts [with a younger anchor] looked like ‘Big Boob Fridays,” and [that] the station’s ratings were up as a result of at least one female reporter wearing a tighter shirt.” •    The demotion and replacement (by a younger woman) of one anchor following her refusal “to comply with Fox 61’s request that she ‘appear on the news as though she were naked as part of a promotional campaign...’” The Women’s Media Center applauds Shelly for standing up against such injustice, and the Romenesko media blog for bringing the story to light. We encourage you to keep your eyes out for stories like this in your own area and keep us informed about them; as you well know, these are not isolated instances, but part of a larger trend of discrimination that keeps women of out of the media, a trend that serves only to strengthen the WMC’s commitment to making women more visible and powerful in the media.

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