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Saturday, July 24, 2021

This is the ‘mean-to’ moment of the media. Stop shouting and go to HR.

Perhaps worse, Ms. Cooper quickly remarked that she had never heard of Brian Lehrer, the beloved WNYC Morning host, whose slowly-scrutinizing, public-spirited interview materializes the station’s appeal, and That he did not “get” why he was popular. WNYC spokeswoman Jennifer Houlihan Roussel said in an email that she has since believed “Bryan is the soul of the station and in many ways the city itself.”

In fact, Ms. Cooper’s mission was to initiate the station’s backward digital transformation, something she did with unusual success in San Francisco and requires a desire to make enemies. He has an ambitious plan to hire 15 to 20 more journalists – but previously he had the near-impossible task of bringing together a group of traditional radio journalists with Gothamist journalists on colorful local specialties for days and sometimes Worked for weeks. Two journalists said that the dreaded local blog was thrown out by the WNYC in 2018. Ms. Cooper sought to professionalize Gothamist away from her blogging and irreverent roots, telling reporters to be less openly hostile to the New York Police Department in her reporting. Ms. Russell suggested that Ms. Cooper was trying to rein in the habit of the Gothamist trend, “an element of editorialization in its coverage that could be interpreted as bias.”

And Ms. Cooper began to inspire radio journalists to increase their speed and record stories for the web. This seemed like a reasonable request, but it made another stumbling block in early February, when Fred Mogul, an 18-year veteran of the radio side, filed a story with a paragraph printed in a different font. The editor realized that it was an Associated Press copy; Ms. Cooper immediately fired Mr. Mogul (who refused to be interviewed through his union) for plagiarism, without reviewing whether he had ever done it before.

Ms. Cooper refused to talk to me about Mr. Mogul’s termination. But this week I learned one thing about public radio that no matter what is happening, someone is always recording it. And this was true when Ms. Cooper called a virtual meeting on Zoom on 5 February to inform the entire newsroom about her decision to sack Mr. Mogul. According to a copy of the recording provided to me by an attendee, Ms. Cooper told the staff, “It is completely okay to be sad.” But then a number of stunned radio journalists questioned the move, explaining that they regularly included the AP copy in on-air stories, and the practice at WNYC’s small website, crediting the AP at the bottom of the story Was imported.

“go Through each of our articles and set us all on fire, because that’s what we all did, “Rebecca Ibara, a host, told her.

On February 10, more than 40 employees, including Mr. Lehrer, signed a letter calling for Ms. Cooper to reconsider and firing a “disturbing precedent.”

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