Image via WikipediaForty-year-old Shelly Sindland, a news anchor and the most senior reporter at Tribune Co.-owned Fox 61 TV(http://www.fox61.com) in Hartford, Ct., has filed a sex and age discrimination complaint with the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities and the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleging that the station gave preferential treatment to young female reporters and fostered a hostile work environment.
In her complaint, Sindland, a 14-year veteran at Fox 61(WTIC-TV), recounts a Jan. 30, 2009, meeting of anchors and reporters at which news director Bob Rockstroh allegedly attributed a bounce in ratings on Friday newscasts to a female reporter wearing tight shirts, purportedly referencing "Big Boob Fridays," to which station general manager Rich Graziano allegedly remarked: "hey, whatever works." Her complaint further alleges that during a photo shoot of news personnel in February 2009, that female anchors allegedly were told to be more "sexy."
In a July 7 post on her personal blog, Sindland said she filed suit "for my daughter as well as the other women at the television station both young and 'old.'" The Tribune Co. has not responded publicly to the complaint.
If the purported penchant for pulchritude is proved, it will give a whole new meaning to the concept of "balanced" news. Fox 61 is the most-watched evening newscast in the market, and it is doubtful that ratings will sag with disclosure of Sindland's employment discrimination claim.
Counted among the Fox 61 news team are reporters named French, Hardin, Frank, Hancock and Furey. Coincidence? We report, you decide.