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Former WSMV News Channel 4 Newscasters File Age-Discrimination Lawsuit

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Three former veteran newscasters at WSMV-TV News Channel 4 have filed an age-discrimination lawsuit in federal district court in Nashville.

The former popular news personalities are Dennis Ferrier, Jennifer Johnson and Nancy Van Camp. The Meredith Corporation, the station owner, denies the allegations.

“This case sheds light on some ugly truths about what is happening at Channel 4,” said attorney Brian Winfrey of Morgan & Morgan in a news release issued by the law firm Tuesday. “My clients are accomplished professionals. They don’t deserve this treatment after decades of dedicating their careers to Channel 4.”

According to the lawsuit, station management in 2015 began a pattern of hostile behavior toward older broadcasters. Comments were made about getting rid of the “old timers” and hiring “faces that appeal to a younger demographic.” The suit alleges that a news director would say of Ferrier, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.”

A number of employees over 40 were removed and replaced by younger employees between 2015 and 2016, the suit says. In addition to ridicule, the workplace hostility included unfair job scrutiny and adverse job assignments, the suit alleges.

Ferrier, Johnson and Van Camp were all forced off the air. Ferrier is now a Fox 17 news reporter.

The lawsuit asks the court to require the station to reinstate each plaintiff to full-time positions and provide back pay, and to stop engaging in age discrimination.

Meredith Corporation issued a statement quoting Paul Karpowicz, president of the Meredith Local Media Group. The statement said:

We have been made aware of a lawsuit filed by three former employees concerning employment decisions made more than a year ago. This suit is in addition to one filed in May 2017 by an individual employed by WSMV-TV several years ago. We believe the plaintiffs’ claims have no merit and note that each of the former employees’ associations with WSMV ended following their respective employment contracts, and for reasons that were unique to each of them. While we do not discuss personnel matters publicly out of respect for the individuals, it is unfortunate that they have decided to suggest that their age or gender was a factor in their respective departures, or that they were mistreated in any way. That is simply not true.

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Copyright 2017 The Tennessee Star

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10 thoughts on “Former WSMV News Channel 4 Newscasters File Age-Discrimination Lawsuit

  1. Jackie Jones

    I am 65 years old and I have always watched channel 4 news. Not anymore! They should be ashamed!!!!!!! Hope these lawsuits hit them where it hurts! In their pockets!! They should pay for the pain and humiliation they have put these people through!

  2. Kbg

    Someone posted a comment some time ago, after these employees and others started disappearing, that Demetria “had better watch out for the blond, because she was after her job.” This quote was on Facebook. Well, has anyone seen Demetria lately? No! Out of the blue, her contract was not renewed,and they didn’t have the DECENCY to tell her to her face. Read Rudy Kalis Facebook page. He posted an old highway billboard picture of the GREATEST NEWSCASTERS that Channel 4 has ever had, Demetria, Dan Miller, Bill Hall, and Rudy Kalis! It’s heartbreaking to here about the way this station is treating their employees. What goes around, comes around! The management of this station, and above, better look out. When you get rid of the people we love, we get rid of you. Watch the ratings drop! Channel 4 “DOESN’T WORK 4 ME”!!

  3. Terri Jenkins

    I was wrongly terminated from a over 18 years of employment because I was over 50. I don’t agree with this or Channel 4 WSMV doing this to their employees. I havr,always only watched this station. Shameful.

  4. Weezie

    I am 60 years old and grew up watching wsmv. Not any more.You get rid of people who are like family. Who will be next?Perhaps it will be Holly Thompson. You better get your resume in order Holly. I’m going to miss watching you!!!

  5. Ricky Medley

    lets hope they win this lawsuit, and get their jobs back

  6. Sheila Rich

    Maybe Meredith needs to take a look at Barbara Walters and realize that age is not a barrier for a good reporter.

  7. Sue maynard

    Sorry but your decision to let these people go was so wrong. We felt like they were family. It’ s good to have familiar faces to relate to. Nancy was a real asset to your news program. She had such class. We actually looked forward to watching her. We knew something was a little shady since nothing was much said about their departure. Sorry, but you all made a big mistake.

  8. […] Former WSMV News Channel 4 Newscasters File Age-Discrimination Lawsuit […]

  9. Dd

    This is nothing new. Meredith Corporation started the practice of getting rid of veteran employees as far back as 2000! They also like to push sick people out the door! I know for a fact because they took advantage of my father who had no business signing the Book of papers he signed! I couldn’t even reason with my own father to convince him to let us get an attorney because the management at WSMV Channel 4 (Meredith Corporation put so much fear in him! He was also cheated out of his retirement after nearly 30 years with WSMV Channel 4!!!!!! Shame on you WSMV Channel 4 management and Meredith Corporation!!! You knew my father was NOT in his right mind when you forced him to sign the BOOK of papers! (How do I know that? Because you made sure to include in the Book that his family could not come back and sue you later!!!)

  10. 83ragtop50

    Please tell me that this means that Morgan & Morgan will not be airing any more of their unending commercials on Channel 4.

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